Chicken keeps pecking other chickens and they are getting hurt

MyPetNugget

Enjoying the cold!!!
6 Years
Nov 11, 2013
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A week or so ago, the chicken at the top of pecking order got into a fight with another chicken fighting over a nest box. She pecked her comb really bad and was just attacking her. I cleaned the pecked chicken and kept her isolated until she healed, and she hasn't had problems since. However, the pecking chicken kept going after the other hens (not just one), and so I isolated her for about 4 days in the run. When I let her back into the coop today with the other chickens, she immediatly got into fights with them again! She pecked at them when they tried to drink too. I let them free range a little while and that seemed to settle things down alot. I went in the coop just now though, and right above my favorite chickens eye was swollen. She did not have that this morning though and I think it had something to do with the pecking chicken. The chicken isn't pecking anymore, but I would really appreciate any advice on what to do to make Nugget feel better.
 

Judy

Crowing
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Remove the one that is doing the attacking from the flock for at least a week. Move her out of sight and hearing of the rest of the birds. This way when she returns, she should be a stranger to the flock, and at the bottom of the pecking order.
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
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Mar 24, 2009
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I agree, remove the hen doing the damage. She must still be pecking if you have another injured bird as of today. Keep her out a good week and if she starts up again when you put her back you will have to decide if you are going to keep her. I don't keep birds with this habit because very often they never get over it and sometimes they get other birds in the flock going as well. It's a nasty habit you don't want to get out of hand.

As for the injured bird, can she open the eye? There's probably not a lot you can do other then give it some time to let the swelling go down and see how it looks. If it has blood on it you can rinse if with warm water or saline.
 

MyPetNugget

Enjoying the cold!!!
6 Years
Nov 11, 2013
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Enjoying New Year so far!!!
Nugget's eye seems to be all better now. The pecking bird has been under control by the RIRs and our BOs. They are the ones pecking her now and she doesn't even try to fight with them now. You can easily see that she is either in the middle-bottom or very bottom of the pecking order. She hangs her head low when another chicken stares at her. Should I still keep her away from the other chickens for a week? Thanks so much for your help!
 

Judy

Crowing
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Feb 5, 2009
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Sorry, I've gotten a little lost on who is pecking whom here.

The bottom line is, if no blood is being drawn, let them work it out. You really don't have any choice if you own more than one chicken; it is what they do. If one is attacking and injuring others, then the week isolation out of sight and hearing is a commonly accepted method to stop it. I say that because nothing always works with chickens!
 

MyPetNugget

Enjoying the cold!!!
6 Years
Nov 11, 2013
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Enjoying New Year so far!!!
Ok thank you Judy! Sorry I didn't make much sense!
So, the bird that was pecking everybody stopped. She is now at the bottom of the pecking over, and I know because every time another chicken stares at her, she hangs her head low, like she's surrendering. Hopefully this is a bit more understandable and thanks again Judy!
 

riversanctuary

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 23, 2014
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I'm having such a problem too, but I don't know who started it because they all gang up on her, she got pecked bad, when she is with them. I tried several times, but when I place her with the rest in the backyard the 4 begin to surround her and I know a attack is coming. I have rescued her several times. I don't know why they have turned on her. Luckily I have another coop, but she will be alone in there how good can that be? Anyone have this problem with a good outcome?
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,523
583
327
California, central valley
I'm having such a problem too, but I don't know who started it because they all gang up on her, she got pecked bad, when she is with them. I tried several times, but when I place her with the rest in the backyard the 4 begin to surround her and I know a attack is coming. I have rescued her several times. I don't know why they have turned on her. Luckily I have another coop, but she will be alone in there how good can that be? Anyone have this problem with a good outcome?
I have had that situation occur once before and things eventually settled down, kind of. The chicken that was being attacked was eventually able to free range in the pasture with the flock but they wouldn't allow her into the coop. So she slept in her own little coop that I set up for her. Eventually one of the lower ranking hens from the main coop even decided to move in with her!

Something you might try, if you know who the lowest bird in the order is besides her, is putting that bird in with her and see how they get along. If it works, after a while try adding another. That might help you figure out who is instigating the attacks, or if they are all involved. Sometimes once they get it in their heads to go after one bird they just never get over it.
 
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riversanctuary

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 23, 2014
43
6
24
Thanks for the suggestions. I will try to put her with the one she is higher ranked in the pecking order tomorrow. Tonight the 4 are in the roost together, but the one who was pecked, Lacy, is alone in the other coop she is having a hard time settling down. I have set up the rabbit hutch inside the coop for her to roost in, but she is still pacing in the coop. It's not dark yet so I keep checking to see if she goes in by herself. I might just put her in when it's dark if she doesn't do it on her own. It's really hard knowing what to do!
 
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