Anyone seen this?


13 Years
Mar 8, 2010
Mid-Coast Maine
I have 6 birds -3RIR and 3BR.
5 of the 6 have just in the last 2-3 weeks really developed their combs and waddles. Large and red...
1 of the BR however, has not developed quite yet, and I think she has become the runt of the group.
She is eating and drinking and pooping fine - although she only eats when the others are away from the feeder.
She doesn't hang out with the pack like she used to, but spends a lot of time 'standing' in the door of the coop looking out at the others who are in the run area.
This is a very recent development and coincides with when the rest of the group became physically more mature.
I do know that when she is with the others, she is very submissive in fear of being pecked - usually by one of the RIRs. She will cower a little bit as they walk by her.
None of them are laying yet. Any day I hope. They are 22 weeks tomorrow.
Will this subside when she catches up maturity wise and when they all begin laying?
I hope so, she seems rather lonely.
you might give her some extra treets and also vitamins..... but she will find her place in the group but she will later on be able to get away with all kinds of stuff no matter were she is in the picking order as they all mature .she will not be so scared of her superiors,,, sometime the rooster will help resolve things if u have one
Chickens do have a hierarchy, and it sounds like she is on the very bottom of the pecking order. It will help if you put out another feeder and waterer so she can get what she needs with less fighting. Couldnt hurt to add some vitamins to the water, and maybe organic apple cider vinegar (acts like a kind of health booster and encourages drinking water)

Her being smaller and less aggresive will enocourage the hens to pick on her, and that could easily become a lifelong issue. You could try introducing a younger pullet or two to keep her company, but then you have to deal with the flock establishing a new pecking order, and you'd have to go through isolating the newbies a few weeks to make sure no one introduces any nasty germs.

You could try isolating her with only one or 2 other pullets of your flock with a couple waterers and feeders, but keep the isolation pen in sight of the other hens, until the little picked on girl gets bigger and braver. A certain amount of bullying may be unavoidable, but as long as she is not being really hurt, and is getting food and water, your best bet could be to just let them work it out.

I have a runty girl who got picked on alot. She got a bad neck wound, but I did the isolation trick with a few younger, smaller pullets in sight of the whole flock, and 3 weeks later she healed and re-integrated with almost no problems. I say almost because she is still lowest on the totem pole, but she isnt getting attacked anymore. She just kinda steers clear of the bullys, and stays with the smaller pullets.

Good luck and I hope your girl ends up ok.

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