chicken repeatedly picked on

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by miabyrer, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. miabyrer

    miabyrer Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2011
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    Ok I really need some help. I have 10 hens and a rooster... All of them are about the same size but different breeds. We have one hen that is repeatedly picked on. This summer they pecked off half her comb while we were at church... Several times she has had bald spots on her backside from pecking.... The latest incident I came home from work to find her huddle in a nesting box with all of the skin missing off the back of her head.

    As soon as we notice them bothering her we isolate her, clean her up and spray her with blue cote... After a day or two we put her back with the rest and they are fine for another few weeks. I don't know what to do... We have been letting them free range and giving them more scraps and I higher protein feed but they still go after her again and again.... Any suggestions?
     
  2. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seems odd they really keep picking at her....hmmmm, is it all of them? Or one in particular? I would remove the problem hen and see if the pecking stops.
     
  3. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    Is it possible that all the damage is coming from the roo?
    I have a hen that wasn't submitting to the roo. He ended up ripping off the back of her comb.
     
  4. BigRedNZ

    BigRedNZ Out Of The Brooder

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    Our girls gang up on one new one once, and recently with our new pullets. I solved it easily by quietly waiting with a hose... Peck, peck, peck (ok enough, she gets it) WOOSH
     
  5. miabyrer

    miabyrer Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2011
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    The roo is relatively new... The rest of the flock has been together since the day they hatched... Some of Tue new damage is from him but its more than that... Right now she is isolated in her own coop and run (the hatchery that isn't occupied at the moment but runs right next to the hen house and run).
     
  6. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you try to find out which hen it is doing the most picking and isolate her?
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Not as bad as your pecking order victim, but I also had such a victim. From almost the beginning, she was the one who was always bald, getting constantly pecked.

    After what seemed like forever, I got tired of always seeing Joycie with a bald neck or bald back and I decided to segregate her from the others during the day. At night, I would let her roost with the others, but during the day, she was in her own small enclosure adjacent to the main pen. She could still interact with the flock through the fence, but they couldn't get to her to molest her.

    My main reason for doing this was to permit her time to re-grow her feathers without them being plucked out as soon as they started emerging. The arrangement lasted for a number of weeks until her feathers were grown out.

    I was in for a big surprise when I finally let her back with the others. Joycie had undergone a personality change while she was in seclusion. The rest from daily pestering and bullying had given her self-confidence that had been sorely lacking before. I thought I was imagining things so I ran it by the experts here. They agreed that isolating a victim will do that - give her a much needed rest that restores her health and well-being, and will result in a hen who will feel better about herself and will stand up for herself with the others.

    Quite a bit of time has passed since Joycie rejoined the flock, and her self-confidence has remained intact. She isn't bullied any longer. I don't know if this would work for your little victim, but it might be worth a try. It's very important that she still remains a part of the flock, though, just protected so they can't get to her.
     
  8. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    When you introduce a new bird, the entire pecking order gets changed. Hence, the pecking could of started because of this.
    Once a bird is injured, the others will continue to peck at that injury and make it worse.


    I would definetly separate her until she has healed. You could try to let her have daily supervised visits in a large area. She will need places to run and hide from the others. However, she shouldn't stay in this stressful environment 24/7. . . .

    Is the roo young and the girls are older?
     
  9. Sondacop

    Sondacop Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2012
    Hi, I am a newbie myself but I did gain some insight into this problem by having 2 different chickens picked on. It happened to both right after they lost their feathers. The first chicken arrived at my place after already losing her feathers and having had them start to grow back, so I didn't know why they were pecking at her and chasing her away. She would spend most of the day in the nesting box, just to be away from the harassers. Then her feathers grew back in fully and she re-joined the others. At this point the second bird lost her feather (she looked like a porcupine!) and she was harassed like the other chicken (even by the one she previously harassed herself). She too now spends her days in the nesting box or on a perch high above the others. She ventures to the floor only to drink. I try to feed her where ever she is, but it is not easy. When I free range them (Saturdays) she stays away from the rest of the flock and if not the others chaise her away. Her feathers have started to grow back, but she is still rejected by the others.
    The Ugly Duckling is not just a child's tale! Birds really do hate ugly birds!
     
  10. Hillschicks

    Hillschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You said it was a mixed flock... Does this chicken stand out??? If 1 appears "different" they sometimes will keep picking on her... He had one with skull showing on the back of her head... Which one?? The only all white chicken... Our leghorn... Before her our 1 white silkie was singled out... My flock apparently just doesnt like white chickens lol
     

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