2 problems: Blood and Bullying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by momgoose, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. momgoose

    momgoose Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 2, 2012
    NE Tucson
    I have a Barred Rock (1 y/o) pecking the snot out of the other hens. My Leghorn alpha died and this BR is a witch. The only hen she leaves alone is the Dominique she hatched with. One of my EE's is featherless on her back and the BR pecked her bloody by the time I could separate the victim. I have read that they may peck and eat feathers and blood because they lack salt in their diet, I also read that chickens can easily become salt toxic, I also have seen a few postings that say to separate the wannabe alpha for a week to knock her down a few steps on the heirarchy ladder. I will try the separation thing, but fear that removing her will allow the Dominique to take over where the BR left off much like the BR assumed authority when the Leghorn died. Would putting a small container of sea salt in the pen be a bad idea, so that they could eat it if they wanted rather than adding it to water when the other hens might not need it? Any opinions/ideas?

    Now the blood thiing. I have an EE that has been laying about a year. She quit for a couple months this winter but has resumed laying the last three weeks. There was a large smear of blood on her egg which is about average size for her at 2 1/8 oz or 59gm.
    I checked her vent and it has a couple of raw, sore looking areas and has a small hematoma on the lip on one side of the vent.
    Why would she start overstretching and bleeding now? That egg is average for her-is the size/weight she's laying big for a 1 y/o hen? Is there something I can do to prevent this trauma in the future i.e. vaseline on her vent, sitz bath (lol)?

    Thanks all for any ideas.
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Pinless Peepers applied to the barred rock would alter her behavior for the better. I would be concerned that she may be pecking at the vent of the EE. This can escalate to serious problems/death.
  3. NJchixs

    NJchixs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2012
    Jackson, NJ
    You can try the separation, but you may be right about the next one stepping in. If you have the energy, separate the injured so they can heal up a bit, and take out the BR. If the Dominique starts up, pull her out too. Give it at least a week maybe a little more. I know it's not easy to do but if you want to keep her try. Otherwise, find her a new home with a bigger flock. I just recently took in a BR with a big attitude who was tearing apart her two new additions. It was impossible for her to be separated due to space. She went from a flock of five to 14 and no longer has the top rank. Sometimes it's best for everybody. Good luck.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    The thing is, someone's gotta be the boss. Chickens, like just about all other animals, function best when the social order is clearly defined. The transition time is what sucks! I'd pull the rock out and see how things go with the others. If the ee has open wounds, you can try blue-kote or similar, but you'll really have to watch cause that red is like a beacon to the other birds as a sign of weakness. If possible, you might need to remove the wounded bird, also. I know that's getting a lot of seperate birds and that isn't always feasible.

    I've heard some folks on here use those pinless peepers with great success. And the pics are priceless!

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