Whats with the serious behavior issues during roosting time??

May 5, 2021
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Connecticut
I cant even stand to watch them go to bed! My 6 girls are all GLW’s and have 2 roosting bars that are 8 ft long. Why do they all go after just 2 spots like these are the only comfortable places to roost??? Its really one hen that causes the biggest problem lately. Her pecking is actually biting. Shes biting her sisters. Her behavior has become more aggressive towards the other 5 in the last week or so in general. They jump out of her way cause shes always gonna peck at someone, Hard too! She acts like I am the enemy too. Runs away from me and never ever will even take a treat from me. Instead I have to put it on the ground near her. Shes become skittish i guess. Not sure why tho? She wasnt always like this. They are about 15 wks old. So, i guess my question is; do i intervene when i see her acting like this at roost time? I did tonight. I actually picked her up and relocated her, but like I said, they all fight over 2 of the 10 different roost places, so she just walked back down the line and started acting up again. Shes kinda like a disturbance in the force! Will this behavior change, is there anything I can do when she acts like this at roost time, and also, shes the only pullet I have with a single comb. Maybe shes not full GLW? I dunno. One gal in the prime roost spot was being terrorized by my bully Rose. Poor thing made herself super small and held her ground but her body was like crouched down and bully Rose was over her and I think biting her. Whats up with that? Maybe an age thing?? I dunno. This behavior kinda came out of nowhere. Thanks in advance if you have any tips or tricks. Thank you! I spend so much time with them and we all get along great but Rose is like a thorn in everyones side right now. Rose is the third pic. Like I said, only gal with a single comb. All others have rose type combs. Thats why i named her Rose. She was born with that little single comb too. 🐓❤️
 

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DobieLover

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It's normal behavior. Roost time can be brutal business. If no blood is shed, don't intervene. You just cannot be there 24/7 with the flock to intervene and change behaviors. They have enough space to work things out. I would expect things to calm down a bit when they all start laying.
 
Last edited:
May 5, 2021
525
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181
Connecticut
It's normal behavior. Roost time can be brutal business. If no blood is shed, don't intervene. You just cannot be there with the flock to intervene and change behaviors. They have enough space to work things out. I would expect things to calm down a bit when they all start laying.
Dobie, Thank you so much for these encouraging words you type! Was scared someone may say; well chicken soup is delicious! What if she does draw blood?? Thanks again! 🐓❤️
 

rosemarythyme

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I would expect things to calm down a bit when they all start laying.
x2. I think their age is a big factor, both in the roost time rumbles and in being unfriendly to you. Once they start laying they should calm down a bit on both fronts, but she may always insist on having her choice of roost spots.
 

LaFleche

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Its really one hen that causes the biggest problem lately. Her pecking is actually biting. Shes biting her sisters. Her behavior has become more aggressive towards the other 5 in the last week or so in general. They jump out of her way cause shes always gonna peck at someone, Hard too! She acts like I am the enemy too. Runs away from me and never ever will even take a treat from me. Instead I have to put it on the ground near her. Shes become skittish i guess. Not sure why tho? She wasnt always like this. They are about 15 wks old.
She is trying to establish herself as top hen.


Running from you and sudden skittish behaviour can be caused by stress, internal or/and external parasites or nearing POL with hormones flooding in.
 
May 5, 2021
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Connecticut
Minor wounds can bleed a lot. I don't concern myself with them. Holes pecked open on the back of heads require intervention.

is there anything I can do to prevent this behavior before someone gets injured? I mean, I dont think its to that point yet, but knowing what to do in this scenario gives me piece of mind and an instant proper reaction rather than guessing or waiting. DobieLover, if you have the time, can I paint you a picture and you tell me exactly what you would do? If any of you other stellar chicken people care to chime in, please do. ok, hypothetically speaking bully Rose pecks a friend really hard on the head somewhere and causes an injury. there is blood. What do you do?? please be specific and chronological if you can.
 

LaFleche

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Here are some things you could do to lower the stress while the pecking order is established:

Provide at least two water supplies and two feeders far way/out of sight from each other, so the top hen will not be able to guard them at the same time and the others can get their fill.

The more space they have to get out of each other's faces, the better they will be able to deal with the agression.

If she gets too violent, separate her in a wire cage out of sight of her flock mates for some days. This will relax the remaining flock mates and allow to form a new flock hierarchy without her. And it lower Rose's rank if she is separated long enough.

But be aware that it also can prolong the fighting in case Rose's personality will have her fight for top rank again as soon as she is back with her flock.
 
May 5, 2021
525
868
181
Connecticut
La Fleche, thanks a lot for the tips. I have considered separate waters and feed. Things are not out of hand currently. The flow of the flock has always been amiable and peaceful, so to see this behavior is alarming but not an emergency so thats a good thing. I like to learn what behaviors are common and the appropriate action to take. BYC is such a treasure trove of knowledgeable, caring, people. Amazing dont you think? Your one of em! Thanks again. I feel more comfortable now. 🐓❤️
 

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