Canniblaism and plain ole meaness to each other

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by snowydiamonds, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. The man I got my first flock from asked if I'd take his remaining 16 RIR's. He said they looked better than when I picked up my first ten. (I was so happy, I shared two so ended up w/only 8)

    They don't look good at all, not even their eyes or surrounding their eyes. They are just plain mean and mean to damage when they peck each other. Out of 16 there may be only two that are unscathed and look normal in feather but their eye lids don't even look normal on any.

    I'm due to butcher the second flock of CornishX tomorrow and am wondering if culling is the only way to ensure none of this nastiness comes into my young and very beautiful, happy, friendly flocks. I'm ready after watching last night! I'm ready and dressed to go do it right now...even if they provided 6 eggs on their first day here w/me, yesterday.

    My original 8 girls (hens) are NOT happy to see their sisters. The coop is in front of theirs and they intend to protect their space and happiness. (Keeping them separated.)

    The original owner never thought of them as pets, and kept telling me not to treat mine as pets either but mine are so much happier and healthier than his have been. What a bummer! If nothing else, they'd make good soup? Poor, sorry looking and horrid things...
    shall I post pics?
  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    If they are so mean, its a disgrace to the breed! I would butcher them! Make great soups!
  3. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    I'm afraid I would too at this point. Sounds like they have been overcrowded and not treated the way you are treating your healthy girls. If they get in there and teach picking and aggression, you will be hard-pressed to squelch that behavior, and your good girls will be ruined.

    I'm sorry for your situation ~ you obviously love your gals, and they will be much happier if they don't learn any nastiness from the "delinquents."

    Good luck! Keep us posted on what happens.

    Jen in TN
  4. It seems a lost cause. I put five that looked normal into another separate coop and tonight when they were perched for the night I kept hearing cawing so I went into the coop w/the five and here is one totally pulling all the feathers out of the back of the other. The other 11 are pretty awful looking but calmer now the aggressive and normal looking hens are in another coop. It seems even those will not be normal looking by noon tomorrow so we are butchering them then.

    My neighbor said we should cull the best looking and meanest tomorrow, wait until next weekend and cull again after the poorly ones have had time to rest from the stress and heal so they're healthier when we butcher them.

    They are so violent when they pick, even if its only one or two pecks, I feel it should be done asap and be done before their second molt. I feel so sorry for them, to have turned this way. But it also makes me mad when they start ripping and ripping.
  5. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Im so sorry you are haveing to deal with this. Is it possible they were crowded, and MOST LIKELY have had a bad diet? Maybe if you throw some cat food, ( high protene) or game bird starter, in there for a few days....they will calm down? Vitamins in thier water.?? What a shame to have to see them do this to each other. Good luck with whatever you decide.
  6. newchickmom

    newchickmom Songster

    Nov 8, 2007
    Lafayette, Indiana
    I would cull them also.
    I have roos that are going to the soup pot shortly, because they are so mean to each other and the hens. The 2 that are the meanest(they seem to be buddies) are seperated from the others and 2 more just went to my sister's yesterday because they were being picked on so much. I do have 1 roo that will be kept because he has been the peace-maker and is very good to the girls.
  7. Thanks for your thoughts and ideas, I'll try some cat food for the poorly ones but the five worse ones are going to be the first to butcher today. I can't imagine how they've survived since last November with the stress and not even able to go to sleep at night because their own sister's would begin eating on them!

    Its true they didn't get a good diet for who knows how long because he did tell me with the cost of feed, he'd found out scratch was much cheaper and was only ordering that for awhile but he must have seen the error because they came w/good layer feed and also cracked corn for supplement.

    They were also over crowded, as that's how I got mine from him in November last fall. Mine were in sad shape then but they molted and I stayed in their coop every night for about 3 hours after work and whenever one picked at another, I held them and talked to them, they had daily and nightly treats, had lots of deep bedding to scratch thru and a sand box for dust baths.

    Besides kitchen scraps, veggies, fruits, hand picked cranberries, bread crumbs, I also gave them wild bird seeds and would have given them suet if I'd thought of it so my girls were treated much better than these remaining hens and also mine had enough room with my neighbor/friend doing the same I was with them so they have had two moms.

    I know its not their fault they turned so bad and that's what bothers me so much, they are a beautiful breed.

    In the long winters here, RIR's have that beautiful, warm color or red brown and are so personable little characters, busy chatting and so cute waddling when they kick out their feet scratching and investigating and a couple of mine have been showing signs of broodiness all along. Two pecked at me for the first time, last week while they were sitting on their eggs and I went to gather the eggs- I was shocked! They've always been so gentle:)

    I got a young roo for them when he's older and can handle my opinionated and willful, chatty kathy girls. They were very indignant and determined not to welcome him last month when I began the introduction process. He's growing up every day though and then Randy Roo will claim his harem.

    Then, we'll see this winter if he and I are still able to enjoy company, especially since they'll be in the coop all winter unless weather permitting, they get to go outside for a short time.

    This was a real eye opener, and I'm glad I didn't listen to him when he said they were not pets. There is a real difference in how you treat them. I was so upset, I just realized I spelled incorrectly in my headline post!

    Its been very upsetting and even though I have a lot more birds now, I still spend time in each coop/yard and pick them up. And, the cornishx have helped tame the wild bantam flock, too. Those two sets of cornishx flocks became great therapy specialists for that wild bantam flock;)
  8. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    My neighbor gave me a chicken missing most of its feathers and everything it was crammed in a tiny cage most of its life and it stunk to high heavens one of his friends gave it to him. I got her lookin gorgeous.
  9. Well, I sure learned a lot with that butcher! Those RIR's were FAT!!! So, they were NOT starving nor did they have an inadequate diet other than being fat. The remaining flock is much more at peace so far and I gave them a lot to scratch thru and find, also they ate all the dry cat food I threw in the bedding which they must not have needed if they are all like the first five. You could have taken that fat and melted it down in a large deep fryer!

    One hen had a gizzard full of feathers...[​IMG]
  10. Yadichick81

    Yadichick81 In the Brooder

    Jul 25, 2008
    I had a bad seed like those too...I was able to reabilitate mine...You sperate them and divide them up between ur good flock..One goes to every group of 3 or 4 of ur good flock and they pick up good maners:lol: Don't keep the agresive ones together any more. It is important that u keep them outnumbered. I had one that was a butt-bandit! he would pick at others in their butt!! until they bleed! seperated him and put him with the big boys. He is doing fine now.

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