will a hen kill another hen??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aymer, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. aymer

    aymer Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 17, 2009
    san francisco, ca
    i have small flock consisting of two hens, one special chicken (she was born with a broken neck), and four five months old pullets. they have a small coop but have 2.5 acres to range on during the day. i brought home two hens on friday from our local humane society (barred rock and buff orpington mix). i kept them separated for two days in a dog kennel in my coop. when i let them free on sunday, the barred rock, claudia, decided she wanted to terrorize my flock. now my birds move out of the way when they see her coming. they are petrified! i am not worried about my big birds but i am worried about my special chicken and the babies (two of them are still small). should i just let them establish a new pecking order or should i be worried that she is going to kill one of my little friends? any thoughts would be great. thanks!
  2. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    Hens normally dont, but ya never know. If she is aggresive towards the others then any birds smaller then her might be at risk. I would keep an eye on them, she could just be making the pecking order.
  3. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Hens usually won't do any real damage to each other or to somewhat older chicks. Sometimes you get hens who will kill newly hatched or still fluffy chicks but once they've mostly feathered usually they just give them a good whack on the head when they get too close and the chicks survive it ok. However if you have a limited amount of space some chickens of any gender will cause serious harm to disabled or much smaller birds. Given enough space everyone just stays out of each others way until the pecking order is sorted.
  4. aymer

    aymer Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 17, 2009
    san francisco, ca
    thanks for responding! i have claudia sleeping with everybody but i think i am going to put her in the kennel while i am at work tomorrow to protect my little ones. i just don't trust her yet. how long does it usually take to re-establish a new pecking order?
  5. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    With any kind of animal you just never know. As far as pecking order it looks like a constant shift in our flock.
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Hopefully, they will all adjust, without anyone getting hurt. Most of the time there's just a lot of posturing and drama, with just a little pecking, biting or feather pulling. I step in, if anyone is getting too aggressive with their behavior.

    Chickens definitely can kill other chickens, including hens killing other hens. Once the attack goes far enough, you can get a situation where the rest of the flock will join in. Sometimes this even happens with chickens that were raised together, after they begin to mature. Usually it's when adding new chickens to an existing flock or when a chicken is injured or weak. It doesn't happen often, but it can. It's always good to keep this in mind and watch closely when there's trouble in a flock. Once blood is drawn, the situation can degrade quickly.

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