Young hens attacking older submissive hen.


In the Brooder
Mar 8, 2009
Hi all.

I'll try to keep this short. Three months ago our neighbor's hen and rooster decided they wanted to take up residence here. Fine. They are both at least a year old. I have hens ( they haven't laid any eggs yet) who are four months old that I raised. The older rooster keeps 'violating' the older hen constantly to where she has a big sore on here back. And he doesn't let her out of the barn very often.

Today I picked up the older hen and put her into the coop with my four month old hens. One of the Americanas attacked the older hen. The older hen is very, very timid and has always been that way since she showed up here.

The reason I put the older hen in with my younger ones is so she could eat and quit being 'violated' by the rooster.

Should I leave them be and settle it themselves? Or should I take her out of the coop, put her back in the barn and continue to have the rooster continue to put sores on her and limit her time out of the barn to eat and drink?

I feel so bad for the older hen. All she wants to do is eat, drink and sleep in peace.



10 Years
Jan 20, 2009
East Central Illinois
I'd like to hear some thoughts on this, too. I'll be putting my 2 yr old hen in with my 6-7 month old pullets(Maybe hens, since they're laying now). Not sure how they're going to react to her, since they've been a gang now, caged together since May.


Jan 26, 2007
central Ohio
Well, you can buy or make an apron for the older hen, for starters, to protect her back. Then, if they were mine I'd consider getting another older hen or two,j preferably the same breed, to join her and her rooster. You'd have to quarantine the new ones for a few weeks, but eventually you could try putting them together and see what happens. I wouldn't leave her with the younger hens if they are bothering her.


Jun 9, 2008
Aberystwyth, Wales
I would be worried about her sores - the other chickens will peck at them and really hurt her. Put Blue kote on them and then leave them together but keep an eye on things - I think she is better with the others away from the roo.


Jun 17, 2008
Middle Tennessee
I would not place a single hen (esp. a submissive one) in with an established group of any kind. It's probably going to turn into trouble for the single bird.

Hey, could you put that naughty roo in with the young hens, LOL?

Ed. to add - - if you had an adjacent pen for the single hen so they could all see each other for a few days, that might help things a bit . . .
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Aug 4, 2008
New Durham NH
lock up the dam rooster for a while, and let the hen roam on her own, until the younger girls are old enough to turn out too! Then you can put the roo back in the mix. If he only has the one, he is gonna be a pest. if he has to spread his attentions out, it will be better for all. but dont put the hen in with the young girls, unless you do it at night, and let them all wake up together, or you are just putting a stranger in thier territory, and she is going to get ganged up on.

Let her free range, lock him up, he will chill after an hour or so, and then release the 4 months olds with the older girl. Then they are in her territory, not vice versa, and with all that room, they will work it out. Then after a few days let him out with all of them.

Also, try and get an apron on her if you can... she will appreciate that, but wait until after they are all together, but before you introduce the roo. That way she is not even more of a strange entity to the young girls.

Roos can be a pest sometimes, and need a little time out now and then to be reminded of thier manners, dont be afraid to coop him alone for a bit.

Good luck!
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