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Recovery Coop/Run-- I need advice!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am building a separate enclosed space within my run for a chicken to recover from a wound she received by two hens she apparently offended deeply. They have been after her for a couple of days and I noticed this morning that they have finally drawn blood. She will be confined to this space until she heals enough to try reintroduction with the flock. I wanted to build it within the other chickens run so she would be safe, but hopefully not lonely.

I am planning on putting a Rubbermaid tub in it to act as a temporary nesting box. Do I need to build a mini-coop with a roosting bar or will she be okay sleeping in the box? We have had the chickens for 1.5 years and have never had this issue, so I am not really sure what she needs other than a barrier to keep her safe from the other chickens. I am hoping it's not permanent and she cannot live in the house.
post #2 of 11

For a quick easy space within the run for her to be safe she will be fine sleeping in the box. HOWEVER she will most likely sleep on top of it. If you can use a tree branch or such that she can get off the ground and not be sitting on top of the box. Not good to sit in poo and they poo a lot when sleeping as I am sure you know.


Protection from the rain will be needed and a tarp stretched tight and at a downward angle should shed the rain. Just aim the downward side so the rain runs out of the run.


I keep a roll of this stuff on hand for emergency separation. It would never keep a predator out but works great at keeping chickens apart. It can be cut easily and hung with zip ties. No nicks and scratches from wire either.


I have some that has been up for almost a year keeping the old mean hens from the younger now not so young hens. It has not failed me yet.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Should I build a little three walled hut type thing with a roosting bar inside for her to sleep on?

This will also serve as chicken jail for future offenders.
Edited by Ashley Pederson - 6/7/16 at 5:54pm
post #4 of 11

If you are going to be needing it for possible future issues then yes I would build a small hut for them to go to bed in.


Perhaps a tiny coop say 3x3x3 simple cube shape would give them a place to feel safe and keep the weather off them.


Lots of folks use small dog houses or dog igloos for housing in such cases. A small dog house shape is easy.


Even a lean to out of pallets is more secure feeling for them. It would be easy to make a lean to or think horse run in shed shape out of them.


I will toss a couple pics on here of a grow out house I used for several years. It may help with the construction if you decide to build a more permanent structure.

This one was made out of scrap wood and one bundle of shingles. I did raise it but should have raised it to 2 full feet off the ground or more as it was a pain in the back to clean. Hanging a small feeder on the inside of the clean out door saved space. Plastic coffee cans work wonders as make shift and free feed dishes. I had a feeder from when I had bunnies still so used that.

You can see it was right next to the main chicken run so they could see but not touch.




Just tossing ideas out there for what I have done to separate but not isolate the young and the injured from the flock.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
The pictures were very helpful! Thank you! Hopefully this doesn't turn into a permanent thing, but chickens can be stubborn little cluckers, so it's nice to see some examples of permanent and space saving solutions. We just finished building a 5'x6'x4' tractor style run inside their main run and will be chopping a hole in the side of a Rubbermaid for a quick solution for a nesting box for tonight. I will work on building a little chicken hut with a roosting bar tomorrow now that the main construction is finished and she is at least secure from predators and the other chickens.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
I actually found a 2'x3'x2' wire dog crate in my storage room this morning left over from when our dog was a puppy. I am going to mount a roosting bar a few inches off the ground to keep her out of her poop while sleeping and zip tie the black weatherproof liner (leftover from lining big chicken coop) around the top and three sides to make it seem more like a shelter. Do you think this will be an adequate temporary solution for her until she can heal?
Edited by Ashley Pederson - 6/8/16 at 12:49pm
post #7 of 11

I think that should do nicely. Yes they are stubborn little monsters at times.

post #8 of 11

I think I would do the opposite - I'd put the aggressors in the separate pen.  I think if you isolate the victim, then try to reintroduce her later, your issues will just multiply. Not only will they go right back to picking on her, they'll also be trying to reassert their position in the hierarchy to the bird they now see as an interloper.  It often works out that the hen(s) who is put into a "time out" is lower in the pecking order when reintroduced and less likely to pick back up on the bad behavior.  But that's just a thought....

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
I totally agree, Blooie. Unfortunately, the poor injured chicken has a wound on the back of her bald little chicken head and even the non-aggressors have been picking at it. I will keep her safe in the "infirmary" for now. It is right in the middle of the normal chicken run, so I am hoping that being able to see her but not touch her will make the aggressors forget why they suddenly hate her. Otherwise the infirmary will turn into chicken jail and they will get a time out.
post #10 of 11

Here is a thought also.......

Since the injury is on the head and is being picked at by the others maybe the best thing would be some Pick No More on it to stop the picking. I have used Pick no more with great success.



It is messy to apply but works well to dissuade the pecking. If you give that a try and it does not work then isolating someone would be the answer. Yes it stinks to have them suddenly hate one another but it is common.


I used the product on the head of a Polish that the others had picked all the crest completely out of. She did not mind and the feathers grew back well enough. I did have to reapply daily to keep them off her. Feathers that are regrowing attract attention that is not wanted.

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