Bullied Hen, can I stop it?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Wellington Tim, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. Wellington Tim

    Wellington Tim Hatching

    Jul 4, 2008
    Shropshire, UK
    Hi, I have just registered on here 'cos I have a hen problem.

    About a month ago we took on 3 rescued battery hens (Marg, Kit and Furty) through the Battery Hen Welfare Trust and they are happily living in my back yard.. well, 2 of them are happy, Marg is very, very sad.

    A couple of days after we got them, their personalities came out; Furty is the smallest most, outgoing. Kit is the middle (in size) hen, but bullies Marg mercilessly. Marg is the largest (and has the most feathers; they were in an awful state when we got them) but she is shy. Furty and Kit are lively, curious and run all over the garden. Poor old Marg has no interest in anything, rarely pecks the ground and doesn't go for any treats we put out for them.

    They live in a coop suitable for 4 hens and have the freedom of the garden and patio which they share with our cat who ignores them. They have plenty of fresh water and are fed layers mash, some mixed corn and kitchen vegetables (leftover carrot, broccolli etc).

    IMO Marg looks depressed. What can I do?
  2. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:I dont know what to tell you . I have a problem with 1 hen also . BUT , she showed up one day at my home and started laying under one of my trees out back . We captured her and put her in a cage , WHICH DID NOT WORK , we turned her back loose , once our run and coop were complete we captured her again and now she is inside with the rest of the gang . She now acts like SHE is the mother of the younger chickens ( RIR'S ) ( which are 12 - 14 weeks old ) ... BUT really gives the other breeds a rough time . She looks like a bantam , really not sure ..............

    WELL , they funny thing is , we introduced the WHOLE GANG to 4 new roosters yesterday . 2 of the 4 are full grown and 2 are about 6 months old .

    Maybe try separating her into her own cage and give her extra attention . JUST put that cage near so she can still see the other chickens .
  3. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    She might be under the weather physically, missing something..... have you tried adding extra supplements to her water, vitamins maybe. In a bit of time, I am sure you will have lots of advice, but just in case it is a physical thing, vitamins woulndt hurt anything.
  4. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I would do something like Milk Thistle or Dandelion powder to cleanse the liver. Extra vitamins can help along with other supplements.
    I get mine from on line or local health food stores. Just make sure they are fresh so they will do the best job.
  5. Mychal

    Mychal Hatching

    Mar 1, 2008
    New Jersey
    I have the most docile Speckled Sussex-Lilly-who was picked on continuously by two Australops and than joined in by the others. It got so bad that I had to put her in a seperate cage. During the day I would put her out back where she would hide amidst the thicket. At night I would call her and she would come running to be put in her cage.
    Well this went on until I decided to try putting her in with my Pekin who had recently lost his mate. I am happy to say that she is getting on brilliantly in the duck yard. She can roam around fenced in w/out fear of attack, and she is company for Nathan-the Pekin.
    Good luck
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    As a battery hen she might be confused. She has never had free range and never given special treats. She has to adjust to learn these things. She may also be the very lowest of the pecking order.

    Time and TLC can work wonders.
  7. Wellington Tim

    Wellington Tim Hatching

    Jul 4, 2008
    Shropshire, UK

    Thanks for the advice, guys.

    I found out why Marg was being bullied... it turns out she was not well and the other hens knew it and didn't want poor Margie near them.

    In desperation over the bullying, we phoned our local Battery Hen Welfare Trust contact who suggested that this may be the case, so we took Margie to the vet who confirmed she had a growth and had to be put down.

    So, bear in mind bullying may be a symptom of illness.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  8. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    awwww.... what a sad ending to this thread! [​IMG]

    welcome to byc in any case.

    are you planning on adopting another battery hen?
  9. Wellington Tim

    Wellington Tim Hatching

    Jul 4, 2008
    Shropshire, UK
    Quote:Furty and Kit (the surviving hens) are very content and I don't want to upset the apple cart and as my back yard is quite small, we will put off getting another hen or two until the spring.

    My plan is to live more independantly. I want to buy a small house with an acre or two of land so I can grow more of my own veg and keep many more chickens so I can barter with the eggs. I already run my car on waste cooking oil from a friend's restaurant.

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