Bullying drawing blood

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by helenalex, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. helenalex

    helenalex New Egg

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    Jul 25, 2011
    Help!

    We introduced three new hepoint of lay hens to our one remaining two year old hen (having lost two a while ago sadly).

    For a couple of weeks they were kept seperate, then in adjoining runs so they could see each other.

    For 5 days and nights now they've been sharing a run and coop, with a little bullying (the existing older hen (a Warren) was asserting her authority and one in particular (a silver sussex called Seagul) seemed to get more of her agression, but no major problems).

    However, I got home from work today to find the silver sussex has loads of exposed, bloody skin either side of her tail down to her vent.

    We have put wound poweder on it and fed her some critical care formula. We've now seperated her (putting her in the main coop) and the other three (old Warren and other two newbies) in the other end of the run and a differnt coop. The hope is that she can heal and then we can reintroduce them, with her having been in the main coop which we hope will give her the advantage when they are mixed together again.

    Is this the right approach?

    My concern is that the uninjured three are now oin a smaller run (as we have seperate the run with wire so the Silver Sussex, Warren bully and other two hends can all see each other but none of them can get at the silver sussex). Will this mean that the older warren just t urns on the other two? But if we put the other two with the Silver Sussex then they may pick at her wounds whilst they're still healing as i've heard that chickens have a real taste for blood!

    What should we do to seperate them as best as possible?

    Also, how do we reitnroduce them once she's healed?

    Thanks
    Helen
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    You did a good job with the introductions of the new birds to the flock by allowing them all to see each other before the touching begins. However sometimes after they are all put together, the dominate hen just wont except them.

    If she is the one that is starting all the trouble in the flock with the aggression, SHE is the one that needs to be separated. Usually it is one hen that starts up and the others follow. So put HER in a separate run for atleast 2 weeks. What this does is allow the flock to reorganize the pecking order, this aggressive hen not only lowers in rank, but after 2 weeks actually becomes the new bird and she can get picked on. The lower ranking hens, including this battered up hen can rise in the order.

    I have had this all happen to me before, and I have had to resort to total isolation of a hen for 2 weeks. All alone, can't see anyone. This cured her of the aggression. So my suggestion is, if the beat up hen is not in too bad of shape, put on some blu-coat on her wounds and allow her back in the flock. (the blu-coat colors the wounds blue so the other hens won't see "red" and attack her.) If she is still in need of recuperation, then isolate her til she is ready and then separate the aggressive one in the flock.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  3. helenalex

    helenalex New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Jul 25, 2011
    Thanks for your advice.

    We seperated the culprit on Thursday evening.

    However, unfortunately today (Sunday) the Silver Sussex hyas been pecked again. Whlist we tried to disguage her cuts I can only imagine that one of them got a hint of red and so then went for her. It's not as bad as last time but none the less quite a few new wounds.

    We have therefore just been out and bought a third small coup. So we now have:
    The main pecker (two year old warren hen) on her own.
    The pecked (new silver sussex) alone.
    Two middle of the pecking order hens together.

    Do you think this is ok? How long should we keep it like this before trying to re-introduce them? Also, is there a best order to try to introduce them to each other?

    Many thanks
    Helen
     
  4. helenalex

    helenalex New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Jul 25, 2011
    Thanks for your advice.

    We seperated the culprit on Thursday evening.

    However, unfortunately today (Sunday) the Silver Sussex hyas been pecked again. Whlist we tried to disguage her cuts I can only imagine that one of them got a hint of red and so then went for her. It's not as bad as last time but none the less quite a few new wounds.

    We have therefore just been out and bought a third small coup. So we now have:
    The main pecker (two year old warren hen) on her own.
    The pecked (new silver sussex) alone.
    Two middle of the pecking order hens together.

    Do you think this is ok? How long should we keep it like this before trying to re-introduce them? Also, is there a best order to try to introduce them to each other?

    Many thanks
    Helen
     

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