Will hens challenge each other?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Patoot, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2010
    I have 4 RIR and sometimes I see them sticking up their neck feathers at each other. Like if one rushes one, they will meet and the neck feathers will puff out. This is most true on my younger girls. No fighting and they stop immediately. It's almost like they scared each other chasing a bug or something. When they all go to bed, you can hear them bickering with each other as to who goes where, but then they're all set.

    Also, I am noticing a lot of feathers on the coop floor the last few days. They are only 5 months old so it shouldn't be molting right? I guess I should look them over and make sure they aren't picking each other. The feathers seem uniformly spread out though. Like small feathers evenly fallen under the roost in a line. Not one spot from being picked. I'm new to chickens though so I have no idea.

    Bree
     
  2. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    YES!

    I had two EE who looked like twins--they were sisters. For weeks, they would 'chest' butt each other--challenge each other.. Since , they were well over the 'average' (if there really is an average) age to begin laying and I saw this behavior over and over--I became convinced they were both roos! I called the breeder and asked again, I posted pictures on here and asked over and over--they all kept saying "they are pullets"! So, I held out hope.... Then when they were 32 and 34 weeks old they both started to lay!! I was doing the happy dance..

    Right now, I have a pen full of young rose comb Ameraucanas and am having the same problems w/ id-ing the genders... and I am seeing them ALL challenge each other--
     
  3. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2010
    Cool thanks. I was worried too and also posted pics on here and was told they were pullets. I went home for lunch and examined them looking for signs of roo I may have missed. Nada. No pointy saddle feathers or neck feathers. No thick legs, etc. They are girls. [​IMG]

    Bree
     
  4. 4theloveofhens

    4theloveofhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2010
    Glad to see someone else is wondering this as well. My three girls, (2 red stars and 1 wyandotte) all fluff up their neck feathers at each other when they run up to another. Then it stops. I tell you, these girls are all take and no game! Haha. But really, I am just assuming it's them trying to get a pecking order going since no one seems to be in the lead right now. I even have one that just started laying and she's "too mature" to care about that. It's fun to watch, because when you see it happen, you're like, Okay! Maybe now we'll establish some hierarchy (although I would prefer not to have a dominant one). But nope. Nothing yet! [​IMG]
     
  5. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2010
    Yup, that's what mine do...run up to each other, fluff up, and then that's it. It is funny. [​IMG]

    Bree
     
  6. Boo-Boo's Mama

    Boo-Boo's Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    One of my BO who is 26 weeks old and a sex link 28 weeks old were going at it today. The Sex Links have been the 'head hens' since we moved everyone into the coop/run. BUT the BO's are now larger than the sex links and are standing up to them.

    Today it started with stare downs, then hackle feathers flaring, then chest bumping, then flying Ninja leaps with claws bared! I stepped in when they began to grab each other by the head! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. nuttyredhead

    nuttyredhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2010
    Southern NH
    Mine squabble too. They chase each other around and pull a feather every now and then.
     
  8. Jeremy Parker

    Jeremy Parker Out Of The Brooder

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    May 25, 2010
    They are just establishing the pecking order. I'm sure you must have heard the phrase hen pecked [​IMG]

    My girls are always looking at the head girl and trying to take over, but this is our roo's favorate girl too so they get put in there place again!

    They will sort it out just keep an eye out so nobody gets hurt!
     
  9. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

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    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    I think it is hysterical when they get all puffed up, run at each other and chest bump. So far nothing more serious than that and most times they don't even chest bump any more. They just puff up and look at each other. It's like they are confirming who is in charge. I am not sure who is in charge but they know! [​IMG]
     
  10. cindy99

    cindy99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2010
    Tioga County PA
    Our girls do that too! It's so funny to watch [​IMG]

    They also have "stare-downs" then all of a sudden one will just start pecking at the ground! They stare at each other for MINUTES and then that's it - it amounts to nothing. LOL
     

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