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Pecking....need help

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I put my girls and my roo into the large chicken tractor Friday afternoon and all was well.  In less than an hour, they had pecked a spot on one of the hen's back the size of a silver dollar!  I am new to chickens and this bunch is my first attempt.  They grew like mad, started laying right on schedule and all had been going so well.  They appear healthy, lively, shiny feathers, eat well, etc. and this just freaked me out.  I took Clara out and put her into a dog crate next to the others.  We cleaned the wound with saline solution (I wear contacts...that is all I had to clean it with) and then put Neosporin on it.  She has continued to eat well and lay an eggs and the place is healing fine.  Before this happened, the feathers that the others picked out had turned completely gray in the space of about a week. Clara is normally reddish brown and the gray feathers just came up.  My questions are:  what caused the patch of gray feathers, why did the others pick those out, and what do I do with her now that the spot is healing up?  Should I put her back in with the others? Will they do it again?  If they get started on her and I am not around to notice it and rescue her, it think it could get pretty gruesome based on what happened in just an hour or less.   She seems pretty content and I think she would happily come into the house and live if I would let her lol.  Thanks for any advice on this and on wound care.  

Treblesinger: Musical mom of 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 6 chickens
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Treblesinger: Musical mom of 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 6 chickens
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post #2 of 5

They may not have enough room in your chicken tractor, and when that happens they get bored.  Were they moved from a larger area to the chicken tractor?  

 

Putting Clara back in the tractor with them I think would be risky.  They have good memories, and once cannibalism starts it's not easily remedied, unless they just need a larger space with more to keep them occupied.

...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
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...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
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post #3 of 5

You can put some Blu-Kote on the spot to disguise it from the others. How much space do you have for how many birds?

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

The tractor is 10 x 15....plenty of room for 6 chickens. Clara has been my favorite since she was a little chick and she is the lowest in the pecking order so I guess I should not be surprised.  I generally put them out every day but I have just let Clara run around outside the tractor since they pecked her.  My rottie watches over her (they are best buds) so I don't worry about a hawk getting her or anything since the dog is her protector.  She is healing well so I guess my emergency first aid was ok.  We live so far out in the sticks that it would have taken me over an hour to go into town and get back with something for her so I just used what I had.  I don't want to keep her isolated for the rest of her life...would like to integrate her back into the flock when she heals.  I had no idea chickens were so....mean to their peers! 

Treblesinger: Musical mom of 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 6 chickens
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Treblesinger: Musical mom of 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 6 chickens
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post #5 of 5
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Originally Posted by treblesinger View Post
 

The tractor is 10 x 15....plenty of room for 6 chickens. Clara has been my favorite since she was a little chick and she is the lowest in the pecking order so I guess I should not be surprised.  I generally put them out every day but I have just let Clara run around outside the tractor since they pecked her.  My rottie watches over her (they are best buds) so I don't worry about a hawk getting her or anything since the dog is her protector.  She is healing well so I guess my emergency first aid was ok.  We live so far out in the sticks that it would have taken me over an hour to go into town and get back with something for her so I just used what I had.  I don't want to keep her isolated for the rest of her life...would like to integrate her back into the flock when she heals.  I had no idea chickens were so....mean to their peers! 

What a good dog!  Yeah, they can be real mean.

...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
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...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
Reply
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