Chickens hate this one chicken - why?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicken noodle, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. chicken noodle

    chicken noodle New Egg

    Nov 22, 2007

    We have a small flock of 15 chickens that are 2 years old now. They were all acquired as day old birds together and we have 5 breeds (3 of each)...white legs, rhode island reds, black wyandottes, buff orpingtons, and americaunas.

    Last year we had a terrible problem with most of the birds picking and getting picked...looked like the most unhealthy flock. We tried all sorts of remedies to no avail. We finally gave up, but they stoppped the behavior and all the birds look great now.

    There is one exception....there is a rhode island red that has been beaten so bad that we have had to separate her a couple of times from the rest of the flock. I had removed her for one month into a cage in the house to allow her feathers to grow back in and to heal. When she was re-introduced they turned her into a bloody mess in 24 hours. We then put her into a caged enclosure in the coop. All her feathers have grown back in. Several birds come around her in her cage. The other day she accidently slipped out of the cage and several birds started attacking her immediately. Why do they do this?

    It is obvious that we cannot ever put her with the rest of the flock without protection for her. We are going to modify the coop so that she isn't caged and build a separate outdoor run just for her.

    I am wondering if it makes any sense to get a few young birds (peeps) and put them in with her for company? Is it likely that this red will accept a few new young birds or is this a bad idea?

    Any suggestions would be great. Thank you!
  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    It wouldn't hurt to try to see if she would accept them. Though there may be a good reason why the others reject her. My BR lost her status in our flock when she got sick a few weeks ago. We didn't know why her status changed until it was too late and she died. [​IMG]
  3. Chicken03

    Chicken03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2009
    Western Pa
    Maybe that was the smallest in the flock so it got pecked?
  4. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    the South
    Chickens have a pecking order; somebody has to be on the bottom. Unless she was about to die you made the wrong move in taking her out because when you introduce her again they don't "remember" her and they all have to take their turn in dominating her which can lead to her death (though that is probably not the case with the breeds you have). The best "protection" you could get her is a good cock bird. Cocks will normally stop hen fights when things get out of hand.
  5. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    It is not likely that she will do well with much younger birds, even though she has been picked on. Don't you have even one of the other birds that might do okay with her? I commend you for making the effort to keep her safe, many would give up. Try not to bring any new chickens into the mix unless you absolutely have to, as you see that introductions can be a nightmare.
  6. msgenie516

    msgenie516 The Happy Hen

    May 16, 2008
    Nesconset, LI, NY

    It would be wonderful if you could get some birds that she would get along with, but I would be afraid to get really small ones because I would worry that the opposite might happen, that she would pick on them or even kill them. Maybe young but fully grown or nearly fully grown birds might help.

    If you got one or two birds to go in with her, I would make sure they had a lot of room so they wouldn't be forced to be too close together. Adding new ones always seems to create problems and I always worry and watch the flock very closely if I make an addition.

    Good luck! [​IMG] Genie

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