Chicken being bullied by entire flock! Please help

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sdml19, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. sdml19

    sdml19 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2016
    I've had my entire flock since day one, they all grew up together. Everything was completely normal yesterday. They were free ranging and all together as a group. Today when they were free ranging, I noticed one of my gold stars, Daisy, was completely separate from the rest. When it was time for them to go back in the run, I was near Daisy so I picked her up and brought her with while I herded the others in. (I frequently do this) As I put her down to go in, she turned and ran away from the run (very unusual for her). When I finally got her in, the others attacked her, pecking at her face. She "screamed" and ran into the coop. When I went to get her, she was on top of the feeder. I tried separating her in our other run, but that made all of the other chickens charge at the side of the fence because Daisy's run had grass in it. Daisy buried her head in a corner of the run and sat there. So, right now she is in a dog kennel in the house. She is eating, drinking, and pooping normally, although she seemed quite hungry.

    Any suggestions on what to do?

    Also, she is one of a few of them who are starting to molt.

    Thanks!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Molting hens can act odd because they are uncomfortable and sometimes it seems like they are in pain. Some of mine start to hide on roosts while the flock is out enjoying themselves, some will start hiding in the nestboxes. I had a hen spend last fall during her molt inside a plastic water tank used to feed hay in.

    There's not much you can do except let her be and possibly give her places to hide, and make sure you have plenty of roosts. When she's done molting she should return to normal behavior afterwards and the rest should leave her alone.
     
  3. sdml19

    sdml19 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Thank you! Should I put her back for the night and see how she does? Is there anything else I can do if they keep attacking her?
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    If the attacks are excessive you could make a smaller separation pen for her to be in for a bit. As long as it's in the coop or next to the coop you shouldn't have problems when you let her out. Sometimes once they get picked on too much they can have a harder time finding their confidence again so they keep getting picked on. So follow your gut feeling if you think she needs to be separated than separate her.
     
  5. sdml19

    sdml19 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Thank you. Would you recommend putting her back now, or in the morning?
     
  6. sdml19

    sdml19 Out Of The Brooder

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    She is currently separated.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    It probably is less stressful to her in the coop where she's used to being, so if it's convenient I would do it tonight.
     
  8. sdml19

    sdml19 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2016
    Thanks for your help. I may have more questions/feedback tomorrow.
     
  9. sdml19

    sdml19 Out Of The Brooder

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    So today Daisy spent the entire morning on the roost. She ventured outside a couple of times but seemed very skittish and when the other hens began to approach her she ran back inside and jumped on the roost.

    I let them out to free range for a bit this afternoon and she was on her own the whole time then. I tried to put her back with the flock after that and a few of the others chased her down and she screamed bloody murder and came running to me. Then, I put her in a separate run for a while with food and water and she calmed down. I tried integrating her with two of my more mellow ones and one seemed totally fine at first while the other stood up tall and started quacking and grabbing at Daisy's beak and pushing her down. I put that hen out and let her roam for a bit the other. They seemed fine together for quite a while until for no reason she charged and Daisy and started grabbing the back of her neck.

    So, right now Daisy in by herself in a separate run.

    Any suggestions? Is this normal behavior for molting chickens? What should I do?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    It is normal for some hens, as I said some seem to feel it more than others. Can you imagine how new feathers pushing through your skin must feel like? I can see why some get very uncomfortable. I let them hide and they eventually resume living with the flock again. I have seen the same behaviors, I defend them when I can. As long as blood isn't being drawn I stay out of things, but I also feed some extra stuff on the sly.
     

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