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How to reintroduce a hen after injury?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

We have been nursing a hen who was mauled by a neighbor's dog, and she's doing really well.  We have been putting her in an outside cage during the day so she can be out near the other 3 hens while she's been recovering.  However, CC was already lowest in the pecking order and I'm concerned about how to best reintroduce her to her flock, when she's all healed.  Any advice for this novice chicken mama would be greatly appreciated!!  Thank you.

post #2 of 7
Sometimes you can have free range periods with the flock about an hour before dusk where you can be in attendence in case she is being bullied. A cage inside the coop at night may also be good until they can be tother all of the time. If anyone seems to be a bully, then isolate that one out of the flock for a week to lower their standing in the pecking order.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much Eggcessive, that was so helpful!  She has now rejoined her little flock, EXCEPT for the roost!  The other 3 hens aren't letting her onto the roost at night.  CC was always on the bottom of the pecking order, and would be off by herself on the roost, but I'm wondering if I should build a second roost where she can be?  Thanks again!

post #4 of 7

You could put her up there in the dark after the others have gone to sleep, and she may start roosting again.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyCC View Post

We have been nursing a hen who was mauled by a neighbor's dog, and she's doing really well.  We have been putting her in an outside cage during the day so she can be out near the other 3 hens while she's been recovering.  However, CC was already lowest in the pecking order and I'm concerned about how to best reintroduce her to her flock, when she's all healed.  Any advice for this novice chicken mama would be greatly appreciated!!  Thank you.
We are very new to having hens - about 2 weeks. We had one escape on day 3 and our dog took a mouthful of feathers and skin. We didn't know better at the time and put her back in the coop. It only took one bloodied feather to send the head hen into a frenzy. Both of the other hens started peaking at the injured hen. We took her out and put her in a crate in the bathroom for 8 days. We were worried about reintroducing her back to the flock but a family member suggested putting her back in at night when the other 2 were roosting. We did this and they all woke up and went about their day happily. Everything has been fine ever since. I just wanted to offer this suggestion as it was not discussed on any forums that I found. I hope this helps
post #6 of 7

How long can you keep a hen out of the flock? I have a late-molting hen who is bare on the bottom and missing some from her back and neck. The others were not letting her eat, so I brought her in to feed and keep from freezing in this January weather. I took her back to the coop today and they attacked her before she ever hit the ground. I want to try putting her in at night like you suggested, but what if they attack her in the morning and I am not there to protect her? She is already weaker than the rest.

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyjohg View Post
 

How long can you keep a hen out of the flock? I have a late-molting hen who is bare on the bottom and missing some from her back and neck. The others were not letting her eat, so I brought her in to feed and keep from freezing in this January weather. I took her back to the coop today and they attacked her before she ever hit the ground. I want to try putting her in at night like you suggested, but what if they attack her in the morning and I am not there to protect her? She is already weaker than the rest.

I try not to remove any from the flock for more than a few days. I would put her out during the daytime when you can watch her a bit to make sure they aren't attacking her. It might take a time of two of visiting. The best way to separate is inside the coop in a cage or pen. You can also make a simple hen apron or saddle with a piece of polar fleece with 2 wing slits cut. Many of mine were still molting at the beginning of winter, and they usually do fine.

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