I am hoping someone can help me figure out what is going on in our flock. We currently have 15 hens, it is a mix of hens some each year over the last 4 years. They have free range of our 1/2 acre property in the city and have a huge shed for their indoor area. They have plenty of food, water, nesting boxes, and perches at night to sleep.
We have 1 hen who has not been acting right lately, so I have been keeping a close eye on her (she is one of the hens we have had for about 4 years now). I'm still not quite sure what it is thats wrong with her. I noticed the other day that she was hunched over and about 6 of our hens were pecking her, I'm sure if I wouldn't have intervened they would have pecked her to death. They actually made her comb and beak bloody. We brought her in the house for the next day and a half trying to nurse her back to health and to make sure she was safe. She was doing better this morning so we decided to try letting her outside again, instantly other hens came over and started pecking her to death again. The only thing I can think of is that they know she is sick and doesn't have enough energy to defend herself.
I'm not sure what to do as we have never had any problems with chickens being aggressive like this before. If someone can give me some advise on why all of the sudden they would do this and what we might be able to do to stop it I would greatly appreciate it!! I don't want to leave her in the house for ever, but I don't want the other chickens to peck her to death either.