1 of my Beautiful girls is being "shunned" by the flock

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sherrysusan, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. sherrysusan

    sherrysusan Out Of The Brooder

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    Fall Greetings Fellow Chick Chatter Matters ~

    Gees I really thought once my 8 x 10 coop was built, all my chicken problems would be over . . . how wrong I was!

    I had 8 Great hens, and around a month ago, 1 of them got sick and was dead the next day . . . felt really bad b/c I've made pets out of them, so now am down to 7 hens . . . and another hen was acting funny, being very scared to go in the coop at night, and I'd find her behind the nesting box hiding . . . at first I thought she was getting sick too, but after further observation, I can see that the other hens have shunned her :( They attack her, peck her, and won't let her on the roost.

    The last few nights I haven't made her go in the coop, she goes in my utility shed, I put water & food in there for her, and now that is where she wants to go . . . so what do I do - make her go in the coop? Will the others actually kill her? She has no comb on top of her head at all, and I can see where they've pecked her . . . she's so scared to be w/ them

    Everything was fine until that one died . . . do chickens sort of pair up? I have noticed that 2 of each will kind of stay together during the day when I let them out, but I won't being doing that much longer b/c winter is just about here

    Will I have to always keep her separate, and why would the others suddenly reject this sweet little girl . . . I can't stand to see her being attacked and pecked

    Once a mommy - always a mommy - please help!

    Thank you in advance . . .

    Sincerely,
    sherry
     
  2. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You should probably reintroduce her.Maybe she is sick.Chickens often will kill sick hens.They may dislike her,but there is normally reasoning.maybe she had attacked another.Often they may pair up,but that's because they have no rooster to guide them.
     
  3. sherrysusan

    sherrysusan Out Of The Brooder

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    So now am down to six hens, and the 1 that was being picked on so bad, well I put her in the basement ... she seems to be feeling good, so maybe I should try to put her back in w/ the other 5? Or will she be too cold now that winter is in full force here in the midwest . . . I sure don't want to lose any more :(

    & thank you to reply
     
  4. StephensonC

    StephensonC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with ThePRfan. Sounds like maybe she is sick and the others feel that she is a threat to the flock.
     
  5. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd watch them.Anytime you see them going for her,just step in and make them stop.Sometimes
    you may even wanna get rough with the hens being mean.
     
  6. sherrysusan

    sherrysusan Out Of The Brooder

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    Since it was 43 degrees yesterday - I tried to put SuzieQ back in w/ the 5 other hens - they still attacked her - she is healthy now - or seems to be. She put her head down - and it looked like she was going to just let them kill her - so I got after them w/ a stick that I tied a plastic bag to the end of - they scattered - but would keep coming back to nail her . . . even the Buff Orpington - who is so sweet & gentle . . . so I put my dog crate in the coop - Suzie sleep in that last night - shavings are in it - along w/ food/water. This morning I put the 5 big hens out in the run and shut them out of the coop so Suzie can have some "free time" in the coop. Later this afternoon I will have to put SuzieQ back in the crate (is a large size) and let the hens back in the coop to eat/drink, lay a couple eggs hopefully

    I'm just baffled at this mess. They have been together since Day 1 - going on 3 years now - and suddenly all these "political" problems . . . I love them all - but can't stand to think of one being pecked to death . . . her comb is just starting to grow back from where they've been attacking her . . . why oh why? This is going to be a lot of maintenance on my part, but I don't know what else to do . . . and if I give her away to someone else w/ a flock - she'd probably get pecked to death anyway - and nobody that I know has the heart for animals that I do . . . they'd just let nature take its course

    Could I raise a Buff Orpington rooster in the spring and add him to the flock once he is big enough to keep order? Or would he be at their mercy too since he'd be a new kid on the block

    Thanks kindly for any reply ~
     
  7. StephensonC

    StephensonC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did they attack her to the point of bleeding? If she has any blood or bright red fleshy spots, they will continue to peck at those spots. Once the bleeding has stopped you could try putting some Blue Kote on the affected area so the "red" won't be visible to the others, therefore not peck at it. But do not put her back in there if she is still bleeding. Spray some Veterycin on it to promote healing. Also, have you checked her over real good? Mites? Lice? Worms? Bumblefoot which would create a bacterial infection, causing her to become sicker if not treated. Any respiratory issues? How does her poop look? Is it runny, what color is it? There are a number of things that could be wrong. What was the cause of the other ones death? She may have caught something from her? I had this problem a few months ago, and mine was Bumblefoot infection. I treated it and put her with another group and everything is fine now. I know it is nerve racking!! I couldn't stand to sit by and watch them attacking her. She too would just lower her head and let them do it, even at bedtime. I would stand in there with a long whip and just gently tap their back if they were being mean. Even the rooster was attacking her!! So, I don't think a rooster would solve your problem, if in fact she is possibly sick with something.
     
  8. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your rooster idea's perfect.Wait until he grows big and begins his spurs.Giving her away would be fine.She probably wouldn't get pecked to death.She'd be fine after being intergrated with the flock of another.

    But I can give you some advice on why he needs his spurs.Not to kill,or even slightly attack.If he shows his spurs to the hens they will back off.Although if they begin not wanting to back down it could become a blood bath.He would be the ring leader of the anything and everything.He could stop fights.Your best choice is to leave him with the frightend hen.If they bond enough,he'll protect her with his life.

    I am not sure what you will get,but it will probably settle down.Their getting old and getting annoyed easily..Don't get anymore hens,until this horrible attitude settles down.I have had this problem a few times with my
    first flock.They for some reason hated 1 of the hens and begin fighting.She though started brewing a attitude.All the past hens that were beat up begin very mean,and rude.They shunned 1 hen for some reason.1 day,I could never even find her.Not sure if she was abandoned from the flock or eaten.

    Good luck!
     
  9. sherrysusan

    sherrysusan Out Of The Brooder

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    No blood as of yet ... probably b/c I stopped them from attacking her right away. Her comb is gone though from when they pecked her before & I removed her and had her in my basement the last couple weeks, but that is not something I want to keep up. Respiratory seems to be fine, she acts good and healthy. The illnesses you speak of, I am not familiar with yet. Could I treat her w/ some of that medicine you mention, even if she doesn't have the illness as a precaution. I'm learning as I go . . . day-by-day. My grandma was a chicken expert and wish I would have paid closer attention

    The other two that recently died became sick . . . they got very weak and lethargic, and just laid there and died in a couple days. One started to come out of it, but then went bad again, and passed. I was thinking of asking the vet for some antibiotic to have on hand. Seems every time one gets real sick, is always on the weekend, and vet clinic is not open

    So how long does a chicken live on average? I've heard 5 years, all the way up to 10 . . . do their personalities change as they age?

    Thanks again for helping me . . . I have so much to learn!
     
  10. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:
     

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