4 Hens - One being picked on

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MendonMan, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. MendonMan

    MendonMan Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2012
    2 Barred Rock hens (one is the top of the pecking order)
    2 Buff Orpington hens (one is low man)
    All 5 years, 1 month old
    All raised together since day 2. I got as day old chicks.
    Western NY state (still cold here)
    All still laying

    Whether inside the run/coop or outside in the yard, the two barred rocks peck the one low man buff hen. Over the years it's been basic feather plucking. Now over the last week or so, it's her comb and under her chin. The comb started bleeding. I put some ointment and some blue kote on it. The pecking moved to another area.

    The run and coop is enough sq foot for 4 hens but most of the suggestions are about putting the one doing the pecking in a dog crate or something and having it sit alone in a barn or a part of the coop. That won't fit. I don't have a barn. I've also heard not to bring it inside, like the garage due to the cold and it getting used to the warmer environment.

    Should I look into getting rid of her? I think they are jealous. She is way faster at getting scratch or if I throw leftover veggies out for them, she is in there like nobody's business. If they are all out free ranging, one will stop what they are doing and chase the other hen, even if quite a distance away, just to peck it.

    Anyway, suggestions? Thanks.

    Charles
     
  2. MendonMan

    MendonMan Out Of The Brooder

    46
    1
    34
    Jan 31, 2012
    On suggestion about what to do? I'd like to hear.

    Charles
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    With such a small flock and who are 5 years old, I would hate to see you have to give one away. There always has to be one who is the lowest in the pecking order. Do you let them out to free range in your yard every day? That seems to keep my chickens from getting bored or it lets the low ones keep off to themselves. I had a couple of BR's and they were okay, but some do report that theirs have been jerks. I think every breed has good ones and bad ones--it just depends on genetics. I would look over the buff orp to see if verything is okay with her, for instance check her crop, check for weight loss in her breast area, any swelling of her lower belly, and look for mites and lice. I had some beautiful gold and silver laced wyandottes in a big flock once, and they were rehomed when I hinned my flock because they were always so mean to the other chickens. If you have a dog crate that fits into your coop or run with food and water, that could be a good place to put either the bully or the low one for protection.
     

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