Chickens turning on a single chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by critterlover, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. critterlover

    critterlover In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2009
    I have 7 chickens who have been living together since chicks and are now 2 years old (no roo). Everything was fine until a couple of days ago when they started to pick on one of my buffs. She never tries to fight with anyone and just runs aways. All the chickens, even my smaller girl who is very sweet has snapped at her. I have no idea why they are doing this. She even dreads going into the coop now.

    There has been no blood and it is NOT constant, but they do watch her and I can see she avoids them.

    I can't find one thing wrong with her. Could she be sick and I don't know it? Could the other chickens sense it and that is why they have suddenly turned on her?

    What reasons do chickens who have lived happily together suddenly start to single one out who has done nothing wrong?
  2. 2wheelsdaily

    2wheelsdaily In the Brooder

    May 9, 2009
    South Georgia
    I can't answer your question but I had a buff that the others started picking on so much she was looking pretty bad. I separated her for about 3 or 4 weeks but kept her in sight of the others. Reintroduced her to the flock when she was back looking good and they haven't bothered her since.
  3. zumzumfoxy

    zumzumfoxy Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    That happened with my younguns too when they first got introduced. [​IMG]

    Don't worry; I think it's part of the pecking order. They'll figure it out eventually.
  4. critterlover

    critterlover In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2009
    It's just such a strange situation after all this time. I hate to see her nervous like that and I'm afraid she won't try to get to the feed so I am watching that.
  5. janinepeters

    janinepeters Songster

    Jun 9, 2009
    She might have weakened in some way which is not obvious to you but which they can detect. I have had this happen twice before, and both times I eventually noticed that the target hen was declining, due to who knows what. When the bullying started, all I noticed in the target hen is that she looked less confident and less able to assert herself. She must not have been feeling as well as normal. Over time (months), she got less and less confident, spending more and more time away from the flock. Less and less active, as well.

    I found one of these hens in the nest box paralyzed and gaping one day, and put her down. That was 2 years ago. The other one, just this spring, began seriously gaping (no paralysis) so I put her down, too. I regret not sending them for necropsy.

    Of course I cannot say for sure that yours is ill, but I suspect she has weakened in some way that the other birds can notice.

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