Aggressive hen

Asked August 14, 2017, 4:26 PM EDT

I have an aggressive hen and I'm wondering if anyone has advise, besides culling, that may bring peace back to my flock? The following is my post that was answered, suggesting that I get rid of the aggressive hen. I'm looking for another solution. Today all the ladies are in the backyard together, but the 3 older ones are in one place together, the youngest gals are huddled elsewhere together, and Petie, the aggressor, is by herself. Here's the post:

I have 7 hens. 3 were hatched this spring and have been introduced to the other ladies. It's fairly peaceful, although they aren't integrating the way I've seen in the past. Among the 4 other hens, Honeybee (an aracauna) is the oldest and moving quite a bit more slowly these days. The other 3 are a few years old. Petie is an anacona, and suddenly picking on Honeybee in a way that I'm afraid she means to kill her. When she pounces, Honeybee doesn't try to run or defend herself, but lies down and takes it. Petie has pulled feathers, made her comb bleed, and gets on her back. Even after I remove Petie, Honeybee won't move for another 20 minutes or more. They've been staying in the coop most of the summer since I have been boarding dogs. But now that it's just my dog, I've let them out each day to wander around in the back yard. This behavior began a few days after I started letting them out. (The younger ladies had been sharing the same coop space for a couple weeks at that point.) (And the 4 older hens had been living peacefully all along before this change in dynamics.)
My solution has been to separate Petie during the day with the help of an x-pen in the coop (while the others get to wander the back yard), and then bringing her in the garage by herself at night. I did this for 3 consecutive days and nights before re-introducing them and she immediately attacked Honeybee. So now she's back in the garage with no social contact at all, not even through the x-pen. I'm thinking of doing this for a week before trying again, but I don't know if this will work. I'm not optimistic.
Is anyone familiar with this sort of aggression, and know what to do about it?

Boulder County Colorado poultry

1 Response

Unfortunately, chickens are ruthless and sometimes exhibit behaviors that are unfavorable. Once we have very aggressive hens or roosters, it is difficult to change their behavior. Have you tried removing the aggressive hen and see if things are peaceful? If they are peaceful that might be your solution, get rid of the aggressive one. We do cull all very aggressive birds, they tend to disrupt our flock. Hope that helps.