Bought a whole flock and some are really pecked up...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WyoChickenMamma, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. WyoChickenMamma

    WyoChickenMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2011
    My friend down the road and I bought a whole set up of coops and hens from a guy who didn't have time for them anymore. There were 39 hens and one goose. We split the hens and I have a coop and 18 hens at my house now and she has the rest down at hers. Of the 39 hens, I would say about 8-10 of them are missing feathers around their tails and back. We tried to split the group evenly, I have about 3 that have been pecked pretty badly. It does appear that there is some new feathers trying to come through the skin. The worst one is a barred rock and the others are RIR's. I have not seen blood or scabs, but the bright red skin is concerning and it just breaks my heart for them. They seem fine other than that, they are laying, eating, scratching and making noise as they run about their yard. I believe that splitting the flock was a good thing for them, as I think he may have had too many in a spot that was too small for 39 hens. But tonight I witnessed one of the RIR pen another one down and bite and peck at the comb of the one she had penned down, it was brutal and hard to see. They have only been at my house since Sunday night so I have yet to let them free range.

    I would gladly take any suggestions you all might have regarding this situation.
  2. Bedste

    Bedste Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2009
    Cut n Shoot Texas
    is there a rooster in the mix..? The bare spots sound like what happens to the favorite hens.... the ones who the rooster likes best..... The pecking order is being established and hopefully they will calm down in a few days. I never let mine free range till they have been in their new home for a couple weeks..... Have fun
  3. WyoChickenMamma

    WyoChickenMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2011
    They are all hens, no rooster. I was reading about Avia Charge, and am wondering if it might be worth a try. Any thoughts about that?
  4. Fritatta

    Fritatta Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Woodstock, GA
    can you spot the troublemakers and isolate them for a while? fence them off in groups of 4-5? you can get very cheap and portable plastic fencing at Home Depot/Lowes. might give you a chance to monitor and see if there are any standout agressors.
  5. cajunchic

    cajunchic Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 13, 2011
    I agree with Frit...I would try to pin point the troublemakers and isolate them from the rest of the group for a while. Then slowly introduce them to the group again while you could watch them for a while. Also, at your local feed store they usually have medicine to put on the areas that have been pecked. While the medicine is not necessary, it's always an option. [​IMG] I wish you the best of luck!
  6. WyoChickenMamma

    WyoChickenMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2011
    I have not witnessed any feather pulling. Since we split the flock I think they are in the process of defining a new pecking order and I have seen two different hens pen another down and pull on their combs. That was wicked. One of them was right in front of me, I yelled at her and she just kept pecking/pulling the others comb. I went over to them and she still didn't stop, I nudged her with my hand and she become more aggressive. I finally had to put my boot between them and finally the aggressor stepped off. Broke my heart to see such violence in my little hen yard. If it continues like that I might have to rethink the name of my coop and call it gangland or something else just as fowl. [​IMG]
  7. ky-chicken-farmer

    ky-chicken-farmer Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 28, 2011
    I use an udder balm, i know its used for cows, but it soothes the raw skin. I put it on a lil heavy and it seems to help stop the picking. You can get it at your farm store or order it thru jeffers
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I'm down to 4 hens and the top gal behaves like a rooster in that she pens down the others now and then maintaining her status, the lesser hens should squat just as they would to a rooster. If they don't then it can get mean until they know their place but never any blood letting or damage. I also agree your feather pulling/eating was due to too many hens and low maintenance.
  9. zookeeper15133

    zookeeper15133 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2010
    SW PA
    Go to the feed store and get some Blue Kote, or Walgreens and get Venitian Violet. Use it to cover up all the red spots and they will quit pecking there. While you are doing that check for mites and lice.
  10. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2010
    Sounds like the dominant hens have been playing the role of rooster and quite roughly. It can take a long time for those feathers to come back in. I got rid of my rooster because he was too rough and that was months ago... the feathers on their backs are just starting to come in now. One is missing some from her wings (due to my dominant hen "mating" with her) and she gets terribly sunburned, that's why it's red.

    If I see that kind of violence in my yard I always break it up. I watched one of my RIRs grab and kick one of my red sex link pullets the other day and she wouldn't let her go. I went right over and chased the instigator around the yard a bit so she knew I wasn't going to tolerate it.

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