Bullied Chicken Almost no feathers and bloody

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cntrychick, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. cntrychick

    cntrychick New Egg

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    Sep 2, 2013
    My Isa Browns haven been picking on one of my Americana chickens and they went too far today! I got home and saw that "Rose" had no feathers on her back, to her tail and below. Still has her wings and head feathers but is very bloody. I put her in my dog's old crate in the garage and put a tarp around the bottom to keep some heat in better. I do have an off-brand Neosporin to put on her, but is there something more I can do? Will her feathers grow back? She obviously has food and water… is there any way I can prevent this bullying in the future? I have two more new chickens that are almost ready to introduce to the flock… I have them in a separated area in our outdoor chicken run. They are separated by chicken wire so the other chickens can still see them… I plan on introducing them sometime in the next month or so by sneaking them in the coop at night when they are all sleeping… will that work?
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Sep 6, 2007
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    She may need one of those covers they make for over mated chickens. Or, you can put gauze over the naked area, and put duct tape over that. Chickens will attack the blood spots, so she can't go back with blood on her.

    Oh, a saddle to cover the back
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  3. cntrychick

    cntrychick New Egg

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    Sep 2, 2013
    Oh the things I learn! Thanks for the advice... I have also heard that you can give them yogurt to help it heal better? Is there anything else other than that and normal food to give her? Thanks!
     
  4. sittinghenlove

    sittinghenlove Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2013
    My hens do this to each other all of the time. Its supposedly becuase they are bored, but they are free range so it doesn't make senese. Anyway, you have to seperate the naked hen until her feathers grow back. I have tried all the paints and guards to fake out the hens from pecking at the hurt one, and they work for a day or two but chickens know who the weak one is. Absolute solidarity is all that stops it. usually takes a month, depending on how much was plucked out and then you can re-introduce them once all their skin is covered. It's a real pain the butt to quarantine them but otherwise the healthy hens will pick at it until they kill it.

    Funny thing though, I have 2 roosters also. The hens have cleaned one of the roosters of all its feathers. ALL ITS FEATHERS. But the 2nd rooster is left alone. I think it's a grooming and respect thing for the males and a pecking order thing for the females.
     
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I don't consider it normal at all and it's not something I tolerate in my flock. Pecking like this becomes a nasty habit and sometimes you cannot break it. I would watch carefully and see if there is a bully hen who is instigating the pecking. Sometimes if you can figure that out and remove her the others settle down and behave. Sometimes not. It only takes one bird to start and then they all follow the example. It is likely this will just resume again when the pecked hen is returned to the flock.

    I'd also be concerned about introducing the new birds when this is going on. As far as introducing new birds by just putting them in the coop at night? That has never, ever worked for me and it can result in some badly beaten up new birds when they all wake up in the morning, especially in a flock that already is pecking. You would need to be there before they get off the roost to observe and intervene if it gets out of hand. It can work in large flocks but in small flocks, not so much. It's much better to keep new birds penned alongside for a few weeks and then start integrating by allowing them to all free range together. Plenty of room to escape if things get ugly. There is certainly a normal pecking order to be figured out but it should not result in plucked birds or blood being drawn.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  6. sittinghenlove

    sittinghenlove Out Of The Brooder

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    cafarmgirl: Do you have any roosters? I have 6 new chickens, about 6 months old, and I want to integrate them into the rest of the flock but I also have 2 agressive roosters. they currently stay in a fenced pen right next to the existing flocks pen so they have been looking at eachother and interacting at the fence for about 2-3 months. But I am afraid of my roosters! I know they are there to protect the hens but its so jarring to watch them grab ahold and mate at dusk. I don't want my sweet newbies hurt. Any suggestions on how to make the transition easier given my rooster issue!
     
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I do have one rooster but he has always been very good with the hens and when I have new youngsters to integrate he takes them right in. He does not usually attempt to mate with them for some time and sticks to his older girls at first. I raise them in a grow out pen from the age of 5 weeks until they are 10 or 12 weeks old before they mix with the older flock. But I know how you feel, when I first started keeping roosters I was very wary the first time I integrated new young hens. But it all went fine. It certainly is a good idea however to watch carefully at first! Good luck!
     

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