bare backed hen that's being picked on

Bawkingat you

In the Brooder
Oct 16, 2019
4
8
14
20191014_181244.jpg
20191014_181244.jpg
20191014_181330.jpg
20191014_181244.jpg
20191014_181330.jpg
20191014_181352.jpg
Buffy, one of my Buff Orpingtons, has had a bare back for almost a year now. I had a very aggressive rooster that was very rough with my hens and everything else in his path. Buffy was his favorite girl. He was culled last November. I thought Buffy would grow her feathers back by now. I did read that her feathers probably wouldn't return until she molted. This is her first year to molt. She is only 19 months old. Three weeks ago I found my RIR hen dead on the floor of the coop, under the roosts, when I let them out for the day. The RIR, "Red", had not shown any signs of illness. She was the head hen. The atmosphere in the flock is very unsettled. I have been waiting for the pecking order to be established once again, knowing that when that happens things will calm down in the flock. (I have 4 hens left from an original flock of 6.) Since Red's sad departure from the flock, my Black Sex Link has become an absolute beat. She pecks at everyone and just constantly causes trouble and turmoil among the other hens. About 8 days ago, I went out in the afternoon to visit with my chickens in their run. I found Buffy hiding behind a tree, obviously upset and afraid. I picked her up and she was shaking. Her head and neck had patches of feathers missing and was bloody in places. Her bare back was also bleeding and red. Her vent area was also red and swollen. A few feathers were broken there also. I gave her a warm bath and soak in Epsom salt water, dried her thoroughly and sprayed her with Vetricyn (sp ?). I put her into a large dog kennel to keep her separated from the flock, but mostly the Sex Link, Whoopi, and put her back in the run so that they were not completely separated. I put her, in the kennel in the coop at night. By day three she was healing well and growing feathers back. I divided the run, with a 3 foot temporary fence, to give Buffy her own area to forage and stretch her legs, and let her out of the kennel but kept the kennel in the run so that she had shelter. She seemed happy with that arrangement. I carried the kennel with Buffy in it, in and out for 3 days. On the fourth day, I went to visit the flock in their run and heard lots of noise. When I got to the run, I saw Whoopi in the contained area, chasing Buffy around and Buffy bawking for her life. After I removed Whoopi, I held Buffy and noticed she was again injured. Feathers missing on her head and back and bleeding. I doctored her up again. The next day, I put Buffy's friend and my most friendly and docile hen, Ethel, in with Buffy, for company. I stayed to watch that everything was ok. I took Ethel out after about an hour. They were fine together. Ethel was now standing at the fence and softly cooing at Buffy. When I returned a few hours later, Whoopi was again in the area with Buffy, but Buffy was hiding in the kennel. She was upset but didn't look to have any more injuries. I put up a 4 foot fence outside of the 3 foot one around Buffy's area. No one has breached it yet. Buffy is doing better. Her head has healed quite a bit and feathers are coming in. The same with her back. Now, I really want to put her back with the flock. I thought a chicken apron with extended tail coverage would possibly make it easier for her in the group, since they won't see her bare back that way. I am wondering, will her head area be ok without any cover ? The little feathers coming in might attract their attention. What I'm wanting to know is, should I use the saddle and put her back in the flock ? Does she need a head cover to be around the other hens ? Is there anything else I can do to help her ? Just wanting to be sure I'm doing all I can to keep them all happy. They are basically my pets. I hate to see them hurt. I also am very upset with this side of Whoopi that is displaying now. She was always flighty, but not mean. Maybe Red kept her in line ? IDK. Any help or woods of encouragement will be welcomed. I also am posting some pics of Buffy. That is her friend, Ethel, with her.
 

ValerieJ

Enabler
Premium member
Jul 24, 2016
5,744
29,978
1,027
Washington State
First of all, get Blu-Kote and spray any bare, red areas on Buffy. Red attracts pecking. Secondly, instead of taking Buffy out, consider separating Whoopi out of the flock for a week. That could give the other girls time to establish alliances and a more workable pecking order, and it might be harder for her to be so brutal. If it doesn't work, take her out again. IMHO it works better to remove the aggressor. In the end, if I cannot get an aggressive hen to settle down and stop attacking, then I permanently cull that hen. Removing the weakest who is being picked on usually just means the aggressive one moves on to another weaker hen to pick on.

So sorry you have to see your sweet Buffy getting hurt. :hugs You will be surprised how beautiful she will be again, once she is able to heal without Whoopi beating her up all the time.
 

Bawkingat you

In the Brooder
Oct 16, 2019
4
8
14
First of all, get Blu-Kote and spray any bare, red areas on Buffy. Red attracts pecking. Secondly, instead of taking Buffy out, consider separating Whoopi out of the flock for a week. That could give the other girls time to establish alliances and a more workable pecking order, and it might be harder for her to be so brutal. If it doesn't work, take her out again. IMHO it works better to remove the aggressor. In the end, if I cannot get an aggressive hen to settle down and stop attacking, then I permanently cull that hen. Removing the weakest who is being picked on usually just means the aggressive one moves on to another weaker hen to pick on.

So sorry you have to see your sweet Buffy getting hurt. :hugs You will be surprised how beautiful she will be again, once she is able to heal without Whoopi beating her up all the time.
Thank you. I will be getting Blu-Kote in the morning, for Buffy. I had put Hen Healer on her before, but although it is also blue in color, it didn't seem to help. I will also switch Buffy and Whoopi's arrangements. I know that keeping Whoopi confined will definately make an impact. Buffy will be in heaven , back with her peeps. That will put my 3 Buff Orpingtons together again. They have all been together since day one and are very close. Buffy, Lucy and Ethel. It will be a party for sure. lol
I had noticed today that Whoopi seemed to be bullying Ethel. I thank you for your advice and support. I appreciate it. I will post the results.
 

ValerieJ

Enabler
Premium member
Jul 24, 2016
5,744
29,978
1,027
Washington State
Thank you. I will be getting Blu-Kote in the morning, for Buffy. I had put Hen Healer on her before, but although it is also blue in color, it didn't seem to help. I will also switch Buffy and Whoopi's arrangements. I know that keeping Whoopi confined will definately make an impact. Buffy will be in heaven , back with her peeps. That will put my 3 Buff Orpingtons together again. They have all been together since day one and are very close. Buffy, Lucy and Ethel. It will be a party for sure. lol
I had noticed today that Whoopi seemed to be bullying Ethel. I thank you for your advice and support. I appreciate it. I will post the results.
My first two Buff Orpingtons were named Lucy and Ethel. I lost Ethel to an eagle attack this year, but I still have Lucy. She is my oldest hen now, and definitely retired from the whole egg laying thing. LOL I'm so happy you are switching the arrangement. Why accommodate the bully? I expect the BOs will get along just fine now.
 

Bawkingat you

In the Brooder
Oct 16, 2019
4
8
14
My first two Buff Orpingtons were named Lucy and Ethel. I lost Ethel to an eagle attack this year, but I still have Lucy. She is my oldest hen now, and definitely retired from the whole egg laying thing. LOL I'm so happy you are switching the arrangement. Why accommodate the bully? I expect the BOs will get along just fine now.
Awe. I'm sorry you lost your Ethel. Even though all my girls mean alot to me, Ethel is my girl. She follows me around while I do my chores. Usually softly bawking in conversation. She is so sweet and interested in everything I'm doing. She is the first to wait at the gate of their run when she sees me coming. Lucy is the most vocal and LOUD. She is usually the first to "tattle" on whoever she thinks is doing something wrong. This is usually Whoopi these days.
Thank you again for your kind words and wisdom. I will let you know how it all works out.
 

glassdragonfly

Crowing
Sep 3, 2019
724
1,457
377
Ozark,mo
:hugsPoor Buffy! Taking the bully out works for me. Even when its a rooster or guinea. I had a aggressive roo but a week in chicken jail changed his attitude! My stepson has 1 guinea they is a pain,so he puts him in jail every once in a while to settle him down.Good luck Buffy!
 

Bawkingat you

In the Brooder
Oct 16, 2019
4
8
14
UPDATE: Buffy is healing quite well. Buffy, Lucy and Ethel are living in complete harmony. I can't tell who the head hen is. They are all so well behaved and kind to each other. Lucy gets a bit pushy when treats are offered, but the other 2 don't seem to mind. Whoopi is still trying as hard to find a way out of "jail". She is constantly pacing. She is eating and still laying an egg a day. Just very upset to see the other girls wondering around at leisure and she's cooped up in a small piece of the run with the kennel as shelter. It's only been 3 days, but she seems to still have an attitude. When I let her out of the kennel for her recreation time, she is harder and harder to put back into the kennel. She will probably hate me for a while, but so be it. Hopefully she will calm down and be a nicer hen so that we can get back to normal, whatever that is.
 
Top Bottom