Chicken crisis averted for now...but could use some advice.


9 Years
Jul 13, 2010
We noticed one of our RIRs getting harassed a couple of days ago, followed by blood on her backside. After getting her isolated we noticed a good-sized sore spot on her bottom. We've had her in the dog crate for a couple of days and was getting ready to return her, when we noticed a second RIR in the run with the exact same injury, with our two remaining girls relentlessly pecking at her.

Because we have limited isolation space we just decided it would be best to separate the two aggressive ones and keep the two injured ones in the coop. We now have the two perpetrators in separate dog crates with the two recovering ones in the coop, where they seem to be leaving each other alone. Interestingly enough, the two injured ones are the ones that seem to be laying right now (we got all four of them as pullets back in July and started seeing eggs a couple of weeks ago).

So basically I'm wondering if we did the right thing by isolating the two aggressive hens, the thinking is that the pecking order will get reset in the time it takes for our two injured ones to recover. Any feedback would be appreciated.
Yes, I think you did do the right thing by isolating the perpetrators. I understand that it knocks them down the pecking order by doing that.

About the sores on their bottoms, have you checked to make sure they aren't prolapsed? Something down there has to be attracting attention...
Yep, we took one to the vet and we verified that it wasn't the egg vent, both sores are off center to the right of it.
When i have pecking issues, i use a blue-kote type product and spray down the wound area and then keep them together. The spray discourages pecking, hides the wound, and acts as an antiseptic. This helps avoid having 10 different isolation pens, etc.

As to your pulling out the meanies, that's fine. I don't know if it will have as much pecking order impact with only four birds, two of them being the mean ones, but if you put your hurt girls together back in the coop for a day or so before you add the meanies back, that might work....give the hurt girls a little bit of a chance to get territorial. But don't do it until you cover up those wounds with some blue-kote.

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