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Okay, so, as per my post the other day: the Legbar that has started kicking out all the nesting material has now turned somewhat aggressive and we've noticed that she is the one plucking out the feathers from the other hens.

 

She basically made one of them a bare bottom, plucked out a bald patch on the front of the Ranger's neck, and plucked out a bald patch on the back of the White Star's neck too.

 

Can anyone think of a reason she may have just suddenly turned nasty, and what I can do to stop her from doing this again? Or am I going to have to give her away?

 

It's obviously only been happening in the last week or so.

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Mine all muddle along fine until spring comes and then Gemma starts to show her authority on the other two.

 

I would try a bumper bit on the culprit - it saves them getting any of the feathers.

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Maybe I'll have to resort to bumper-bits... I just feel a bit mean. Still, I suppose that's better than them being pecked to death.

 

I'm going to try some of the violet spray and the anti-pecking spray. :wall:

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We had a CLB who ended up wearing a Bumpa bit permanently Andy. She suddenly turned nasty one Spring, got a feather pecking habit which remained and couldn't be broken. They last about a month before wearing out so you may need to buy in bulk.

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Def way to go Andy roo I have now seen viciousness of hens first hand and while I don't know how it starting I am thinking they perhaps chased my Silkie and pecked drawing blood and then what we witnessed was the end with poor Silkie on ground with them all pecking her. I think if the beak clip prevents things reaching that stage it could only be good.

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I'm going to try some of the violet spray and the anti-pecking spray. :wall:

 

I had anti peck spray - the really strong one called Ukadex - but it didn't seem to make an awful lot of difference.

What it did do was punish the victim/s because they were the ones that had to be caught and sprayed rather than anything happening to the culprit.

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Try removing the aggressive hen first Andy; put her in a broody cage in the run and leave here there for 3 days 24/7, as you would if you were treating her for broodiness. See if that works first before trying a bumpa bit.

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Try removing the aggressive hen first Andy

 

She might be going broody; could you have a separate run for her?

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Try removing the aggressive hen first Andy; put her in a broody cage in the run and leave here there for 3 days 24/7, as you would if you were treating her for broodiness. See if that works first before trying a bumpa bit.

 

I don't have a separate place to put her... I suppose I could just put a net up and keep her at one end of the run.

 

She's definitely not broody - she lays and then leaves. I think she's just turned into a complete b**ch! :lol:

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Please don't use netting, I have seen first hand a chicken get caught in netting, end up completely tangled due to panicking and then being half eaten by the rest of them. It was horrific.

 

I bought a dog crate on Amazon about £18.00

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Sorry, by netting I actually mean a tarp!

 

I'll have a look online to see if I can find a cheap box or something... I don't know what's going on with her now. As of yesterday she seems to have decided to start laying outside... :?

 

Maybe she's developed some kind of chicken multiple personalities.

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Is she called Sybil...?

 

Haha!

 

No, but maybe I'll change her name to Sally Fields if she keeps going!

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We had a very aggressive hen. We bought her (and another hen) at 6 weeks old and when they reached POL - added them to our then flock of 2.

 

A year later we needed to replace one of the original 2, and so we kept two of our hatchlings to add to our flock. We did this when they were point of lay. Millie (the aggressive hen) went beserk.

 

We thought for a long time that she was just "hen pecking". In fact, she only stopped "hen pecking" 2 new girls about a year later, when the other original hen died and Millie was Millie No Mates.

 

Around this time, we added 2 more of our hatchlings, waiting until they were actually laying so they would be better able to stand up for themselves. Millie just would not leave them alone. I kept thinking it would settle down and that she was just hen pecking. Then I noticed that she didn't just peck at them when they crossed her path (which is what hen pecking tends to be), she actively went out of her way to find them to attack them. I tried separating her. It made no difference.

 

One day, I watched her run across from the other side of the garden to get into the run so she could attack one of the youngsters who was trying to eat from the feeder. That's when I realised that it wasn't just hen pecking. She was never going to accept them, and that she really was a hen with a nasty streak.

 

I watched for another day or so, and saw just how she went out of her way to dfind the youngsters wherever they were, and peck them repeatedly and with a lot of force. If they tried to run, she followed them and attacked them again.

 

We culled her then, because I realised that she was never going to accet the "new girls" (unless she was Millie No Mates again), and she was making their lives hell.

 

I hated doing it, but I was so very relieved. And I wished I'd done it sooner. I've told myself that if this ever happens again (really nasty deliberate bullying rather than just hen pecking), I'd cull the culprit immediately.

 

I put her body in the run so that the remaining Girls could see that she was dead and wasn't coming back. Once they'd all had a look, I removed her.

 

I don't know how or why she was such a nasty piece of work. I've never before or since had another hen like it.

 

WHen I introduce new hens now, I watch the pecking carefully. After the first couple of weeks, when things should have started to settle down, I watch the behaviours of the older Girls carefully. If they give a quick peck or two when their path crosses a youngster, that's OK. If they chase the youngster, but stop as soon as the youngster moves away, that's ok. If hey peck the youngster when they realise they are sharing the same feeder, that's OK.

 

Our current youngsters are still being hen pecked by one of our older hens (the last one to survive Millie), and I've been worried that she is repeating behaviours learned from Millie. She still pecks them when they cross her path (after 6 months), but as soon as they move away, she leaves them alone. She still makes life hard for them at bed time. She has chased them occasionally (but they have been confined since December, so that's not surprising). She isn't being a bully in the same way that Millie was.... but I am watching her. Just in case.

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That was a good call Hazel... As you say, sometimes you just get a rogue hen. I know of one and she wears a bumper bit 24/7. I have offered to cull her for them, but luckily there is enough room for the others to get out of her way.

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