Ok, so we have 8 hens that are all about a year old. we got them at the same time when they were a day old. (no rooster) During the winter they started feather picking, and 1 chicken got the brunt of it. When I found her, she was bloody, had a HUGE open wound on her side, no feathers on her back, and about to die. I brought her in the house, cleaned her up,& cared for her wounds. She went into our basement in a huge dog crate so she could heal. Now--2 months later she is recovering well, still has a bare patch on her back, but it is slowly filling in. It was a beautiful day, so I brought her back out w/ the other girls and they ATTACKED her. I expected a little bullying/pecking order stuff, but this was VIOLENT mean attacking from ALL the other chickens. She will run, desperate to find a way out, and when they corner her, she just lays on the ground & does nothing to defend herself. She panicks when the other girls go near her. I tried to let them work it out, but I just couldn't stand to watch her suffer like that. I got a water bottle and squirted them in the face when they went after her, but as soon as they thought I was gone, they would jump on her again..Now she has ANOTHER small wound, and she's back in the basement. WHAT DO WE DO???? We love our girls, but this is heartbreaking!! How can we stop them from Beating her up??? Any ideas will be GREATLY appreciated
**HELP**Hen getting BADLY BEAT UP/ ATTACKED BY HENS!! ADVICE PLEASE!!
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
Try putting her back in when she's fully heal and at night when they're sleeping. That's why I have a roo! He keeps my girls from ganging up on each other. I've found if one of my hen's looks different or is timid the others will attack her, I guess this is how chickens act, usually though I have 2 hens at the bottom of the pecking order so at least they have each other.
that is odd isn't it, is there anything significant about that one hen that keeps getting picked on (*like a runt or something)?
I am new to chicks and so not full of experience ... but what I would try is to put that hen in a separate outdoor area with just one other hen at a time and watch them . Kinda like to see how it does one on one without the flock mentality.
If this is going to be a constant issue , then I'm sorry to say if I were you I might think of getting rid of that one (so no one kills it).
Sorry about your poor hen. When you have to separate them, it can take awhile to integrate them back in. You might try putting her (still in the cage) around them for awhile and see if they get used to her again. Then if all goes well, let her out to range with the others during the day, but cage separately at night still for awhile. The worst picking seems to go on at night in the roost. For whatever reason she's the lowest on the totem pole, she'll probably always bear the brunt of it.
I had one out for awhile to heal up from a dog attack and she's back in now. Definitely lowest on the pecking order, had lots of feathers pulled, but nothing nearly as drastic as your situation.
One of my poor girls is in a cage too because the others attacked her because she made a weird squeal. Very strange! Now no matter what I do they will not except her back She is doomed to the cage I'm afraid. I do let her out to free range while the others are locked in their run though.
Have had chickens for a whole six years now! This year decided to try out ducks too! WOW messy they are, but totally worth it, their cuteness overpowers all the messes they can make :D Check them out at: autumnbreezechickens.blogspot.com
I think all domestic animals deserve a peaceful life no matter what their purpose. I'd say create a little space for her and maybe a new friend. Sometimes they just won't stop. Definitely don't experiment with leaving her alone with them over night. An ax is kinder.
A couple Months ago, I bought a silkie hen. When I got home with my brand new silkie, I put her in our main chicken coop, and all the other chickens were attacking her and plucking out her feathers. So I put her in our second coop with the younger chicks. She still gets picked on, but not as bad. It's all about pecking order. If a hen wants to stay dominant, she or they will beat the livin tar out of any hen that they don't like. What I suggest is maybe building an extra coop just for her and making a nice, large enclosed area for her to play in and maybe getting a playmate for her. :-)
i REALLY hope this helps!