Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by stephdownsouth, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. stephdownsouth

    stephdownsouth Chirping

    May 21, 2014

    One of my hens (RIR) got a nasty virus. After she was treated with antibiotics (during which she was isolated from the rest of the flock - 3 others) we reintroduced her. We let them roam in the yard then they went up for the night. The following morning, they seemed to be fine but when I came home for lunch she was nearly dead, she had been so badly beaten up. I rushed her to the vet, she is BACK on antibiotics and pain killers and we've been told to keep her separated for a month and gradually re-introduce her (I wish they told us this 2 weeks ago).
    My question is, can there be 1 alpha / bully hen? We have no roosters. The 3 others are: 1 RIR, 2 Americaunas. The Am. both have missing tail feathers where they are being pecked at, and the healthy RIR has no missing tail feathers. I did not see who beat up the recovering RIR so I cannot be sure, but if I have a bully I would rather weed her out now.....
    Any advice would be much appreciated!

  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Sorry about your hen. It is possible to have a nasty bully hen, ime hatchery RIR especially can be particular problems. If she is feather plucking and beating up the other hens so badly, getting rid of her is probably the safest and easiest thing to do. If she is a good egg layer and you want to keep her you might want to consider putting Pinless Peepers on her, it usually does stop feather plucking and bully behavior.
    With reintegrating birds, being able to see each other but no touching, through wire seem to work best, ie dividing the coop into two sections or keeping the new one (after a couple of weeks separated you are basically adding a new bird) in a cage inside the coup for a couple of weeks to a month at least. The chickens will get to know each other and sort of work out a pecking order before actually coming in contact with each other. After a week or two, letting them free range together is a good idea and should help... It will take a couple of weeks to get the pecking order sorted out. There is a nice article in the Learning Center on integrating flocks you might like to check out, the part about actually combining them is after the quarantine section https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
    You might also take a look at your coop/run etc and be sure you don't / didn't have a predator getting in, in case the RIR isn't actually to blame for all of the problems.

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