I have read about pecking order challenges, particularly when there is a broody but I didn’t think one of my Barnevelders would do this.
Hannah Hen is being a good mum-to-be so far and is sitting very tightly on her eggs. She comes off her nest to drink, pooh and eat (in that order) about every 2 to 3 days. When she comes off, it is always early morning so the 3 chickens are let out at the same time.
Hannah Hen runs to the water and and has a massive drink. She then runs around a little and does her business and has a little flap of her wings and a preen, then she runs back towards the hen house and pecks a few grains from the feed bowl before hopping back on her nest. All of this usually takes about 5 minutes.
Hannah Hen is the matriarch and very much number one in the pecking order.
Hilda Hen is number two in the pecking order and can sometimes be allowed to feed from the same treat tin as Hannah Hen.
Helen Hen (the one in my blog header picture) is number three in the pecking order and because we only have three chickens, she is at the bottom of the heap.
The last two times that Hannah Hen has been out for her 5 minute break, Helen Hen has become vey aggressive towards her. She makes a running / flying leap at Hannah and then quickly runs a few metres away and then runs back at her and stands aggressively in a “face off”. They then both fly up at each other a couple of times before Helen gives up, or pretends to give up. If she sees another opportunity to “get” Hannah again before she goes back on the nest, Helen will take these opportunities with gusto.
What has happened to my harmony. I didn’t think my gentle Barnies would be so cruel. Other people’s chickens, yes! But not mine.