chickens fighting!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by clemclem44, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. clemclem44

    clemclem44 Out Of The Brooder

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    I added 3 younger ladies to my flock nearly 5 months ago and all was well. Integration was fine and one of our existing ladies looked to be at the bottom of the pecking order. But the altercations were really only when scratch was down. So she would hang back and we'd make sure to toss a little her way.

    Today my husband discovered 2 of the younger ladies bloody and brutally attacking one another. They are bloody and their combs have been pretty hammered. Only clue is that BOTH of them has slightly droopy wings.

    So - what does this mean? We think we will worm the flock as it's spring now (they've been laying for the last 2 months oddly enough). But now we're really worried. The attack was rather quiet. He was outside nearby and never had an audible sound to alert him to the situation. They will be in the coop during the day while we're at work and for now we're quarantining them tonight and tomorrow while we're gone, but what the heck caused this peaceful chickens to go nuts?

    These 2 were hatched together and everything. Though my co-worker I got them from mentioned that they are related to the "fighting" breed? They are tiny ladies, and super colorful and lay really light brown eggs - reliable layers...

    Are they sick and just attacking the weakest one?

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks all!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    You need to separate them til they are healed or they will continue to tear open the wounds. I don't believe the females of game birds are prone to fighting, only the males. Lots of times this happens when they don't have enough space and/or are not free to forage. A low protein diet can also contribute.
     
  3. kdwag

    kdwag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 4 hens all raised together. When they turned 6 months, my smallest barred started violently attacking my other barred. Bloody comb, bloody head. I took the bully and isolated her completely for 4 days and 3 nights in a wire dog cage with straw, food/water and a roost pole inside a barn. I let her have the barn to herself during the day. I put her back in with the flock and she continued her rants. I added additional run space but she continued. I then took to separating her run from the other 3. Her attacks became less violent. Upon the advice of many to let them work it out, I put her back and told them they were on their own. After a few days, she settled down a bit. Now I see them occasionally being ornary but not like before so I don't know what got into her. I also started letting them out of their runs for an hour or so before bed time. Not sure if that helped. I also noticed she got worse in late afternoon, I chalked it up to hormones. LOL I also do not have a rooster.
     
  4. kdwag

    kdwag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also got some Blue Kote,it's an antiseptic liquid that turns the wound blue to keep others from pecking it. The wounds healed pretty nicely. I can't say that it kept the bully from attacking her but it did help things heal.
     
  5. clemclem44

    clemclem44 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 13, 2012
    Any worry about droopy wings on the both of them?
     
  6. Herb in PA

    Herb in PA New Egg

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    I added 16 RIRs this year to my flock of leghorns. About 2 weeks ago, shortly after the new girls were added to the coup, 3 or 4 of my RIRs attacked the runt of the litter, causing her to bleed and loosing feathers on the top and back of her head. I took her away from the rest, and put her in a small (4 to 5') round cage. Now she comes in at night, and has a perch in the basement. Last week, as an experiment, I let her spend a night in the coop. In the morning, when i went to feed the girls and collect the eggs, I saw more bleeding and missing feathers on the poor chicken. The runt gets along with a few of the other chickens, and every other day I add one of the other nicer chickens to the outdoor cage with the runt, but I think she prefers to be alone. I will put her back with the rest of the flock next week, and if she comes out all bloody again, she will have to find a new home. 2 of dw's coworkers have small flocks, and have offered take her in. Anyone have any ideas on how to stop the bigger chickens from ganging up on the runt.
     
  7. kdwag

    kdwag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ugh, why can't they get along. I know everyone says you should never remove the victim but it's probably easier than isolating those who are picking on her. I wish i had words of wisdom, but if it were me and you can't keep her separate all the time, I would find another home for her as well. She's probably not very happy being picked on. Someone once told me that sometimes, certain birds just don't get along.
     
  8. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are their wings still droopy? Sometimes if they're fighting they'll get tired and hot and their wings will droop. Droopy wings outside of tiredness can be signals of many different kind of illnesses, so we'd have to have other symptoms to guess. I would say up the protein, up the enrichment (mirrors, hanging suet treats, grass to forage in, piles of deep litter and corn to scratch in), and give them more space. Then see how they do. I also agree with kdawg--try separating them with wire so they can still see each other but not do much damage.
     
  9. Sunshine2000

    Sunshine2000 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2013
    Hi , I have a VERY fat chicken named sweet-tweet. I also have a mother hen named boo. she currently has 6 chicks that are about 3 weeks old. along with many more chickens. boo and her kids hang out inside and outside the coop. they love everyone! with the exception of sweet-tweet. if they are even in the same room , boo runs to sweet-tweet and instantly draws blood! she has NEVER been this evil. she will knock sweet-tweet to the ground and stomp on him! I don't understand!!! Boo and him have always been friends until she had kids! sweet-tweet is Not the only roster so I don't know why she hurts him! and he is fat and unsteady and very fragile! I would hate to see him suffer! WHAT CAN I DO!!!
     
  10. Sunshine2000

    Sunshine2000 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2013
    I have a VERY fat chicken named sweet-tweet. I also have a mother hen named boo. she currently has 6 chicks that are about 3 weeks old. along with many more chickens. boo and her kids hang out inside and outside the coop. they love everyone! with the exception of sweet-tweet. if they are even in the same room , boo runs to sweet-tweet and instantly draws blood! she has NEVER been this evil. she will knock sweet-tweet to the ground and stomp on him! I don't understand!!! Boo and him have always been friends until she had kids! sweet-tweet is Not the only roster so I don't know why she hurts him! and he is fat and unsteady and very fragile! I would hate to see him suffer! WHAT CAN I DO!!!
     

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