At wits end over pecking Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CountryMaid, May 19, 2019.

  1. CountryMaid

    CountryMaid Hatching

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    Jul 12, 2018
    i have two hens (Rhoad Island Red and Buff Orpington) that have been together since they were chicks. About three.weeks ago I found my Rhoad Island Red with a hole in her back about the size of a quarter and deep enough for three quarters to fit in. I doctored her and made a chicken Saddle to help her heal. Then the next day she had a huge hole in the back of her head. I separated them putting the Buff in Chicken Prison for two weeks, where they could still see each other. I let them back in together and within a few hours her wound was red again. Then I started letting one free range and the other in the coop and yard. Changing each day. I did this for another week allowing my Red to heal. Today I put them together and within an hour the Buff had pecked out Reds feathers on her neck for about two inches. I don’t know what to try now. Can anyone help me?
     
    Wee Farmer Sarah likes this.
  2. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    Do you only have those two birds?

    How big is your set up? What's in there if anything to keep them occupied? What are feeding them (protein % is good to know, if the feed label is still attached)?
     
  3. CountryMaid

    CountryMaid Hatching

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    I will check their feed and reply back. It is a small coup with a run of about 8 feet by 8 feet. But I don’t have anything extra for them to do. I let them free range until my garden is up. What suggestions do you have to keep them occupied?
     
    Wee Farmer Sarah likes this.
  4. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    8x8 run should be ok with only 2 birds.

    Things you can add: Roost bars. Things they can jump up on, climb on, go under like old patio furniture, maybe a wooden ladder or sawhorse. Piles of dried leaves or weeds or hay to scratch through. Since the run isn't large don't clutter the space too much, but a few smaller items should be ok.
     
  5. Perris

    Perris Crowing

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    there is a foul-tasting liquid you can spray on - Scarper - works like that stuff to stop kids biting their finger nails. Worth a try?
     
    Wee Farmer Sarah likes this.
  6. AmyJane725

    AmyJane725 Songster

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    I've heard you really aren't supposed to have any less than 5 chickens, but that could be wrong. Don't know that that would have anything to do with this though.

    Maybe supervise them closely and when the BO goes for RIR take your finger and give her a firm "peck" to the top of the head. Doing that a few times should hopefully make her stop.
     
    Wee Farmer Sarah likes this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Well, not really....but smaller flocks can have more severe bullying issues,
    less birds to 'spread the love(or hate)'.
     
  8. I just separated one of my RIR hens, aka Miss Vicious. I'm trying to integrate 3 BR pullets and she just attacks them viciously. I also noticed her randomly taking a bite out of the older hens and drawing blood. She will stay in time out for awhile until she learns to play nice. In my case the separation should "re-set" the pecking order. But with only 2 chickens I can't see how that would work. You may have to re-home her.
     
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  9. chkva

    chkva Songster

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    I think if you had more chickens, there would be less bullying. There are only 2 chickens so that one will constantly bully the other especially if they're bored.

    Try to make distractions... Hang up cabbage, fruits... Make roosts out of branches and put them up around the yard on posts. Make leaf piles or straw pikes they can dig in. Get tires and fill them with sand.

    There's a lot of things you can do to distract the bully, none are 100% guaranteed to work.
     
    Wee Farmer Sarah likes this.
  10. moniquem

    moniquem Crowing

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    I had a bully BR who was viciously attacking my SS. When I found her attacking her in a nest box I decided to re-home her. Put her up on craigslist and she was picked up within 12 hours.
    My little flock of 3 now get along famously! SS started laying this year, I think she was a nervous wreck, they all roost together and I actually found the SS and BA laying in the same box yesterday.
    Re-homing was the best decision I ever made and I would not hesitate to do it again. I don't have time to worry about bully hens and their victims. Just get rid of her, there are plenty of other chickens that are nice.
     

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