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Bullying resulting in injury - advice needed!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jennyo, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Jennyo

    Jennyo In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2009
    I'd really appreciate some advice. We have 8 hens - 1 Light Sussex, 2 Cream Legbars, 2 hybrids and 3 Welsummer bantams that the Light Sussex sat on and hatched from fertile eggs last summer. Up until quite recently, the new Welsummers were relatively well tolerated by the rest of the hens. In the last week or two, however, the 5 older hens have really been picking on the littlies. They pin them down and then peck at their heads really viciously. One of them has a really nasty wound on the top of her head that's been bleeding. I've put Stockholm tar on it and isolated her in her own run where the others can see her, but not get at her. I let her out for a bit this morning but she was pecked again and they drew blood from the same area (that I'd put the tar on).
    We've also been isolating her at night so that they can't get to her in an enclosed space. The other two have now taken to sleeping in an alternative coop that we've rigged up, because the big girls won't let them into the coop at night.
    Does anyone have any ideas
    1) for generally restoring harmony
    2) for what to do with the little girl who's been injured. Do I keep her isolated until the wound has cleared up completely and then let them loose on her again?
    Thanks in advance for any ideas!!

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would let the wound heal before returning her, and I'd put one or two others with her. Then I would try to increase at least their outdoor space before trying to re-integrate. Hopefully, next time it won't come to blood and they can get their pecking order settled down. Little dinosaurs.
  3. Jennyo

    Jennyo In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2009
    Thanks for the reply. It might be difficult to put other chickens in with her as the extra run we've got for her is quite small, but I might let the others out into the rest of the garden and leave her in with her 'sisters' in the afternoon when the others have laid. I'll just have to check that they don't peck her wound as well. Is it recommended to renew the Stockholm tar daily?

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