culling mean hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by granmahen, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. granmahen

    granmahen Chillin' With My Peeps

    380
    4
    131
    Jun 11, 2008
    Bakersfield, CA
    One hen has always been a bully, now she's pecking the feathers off the australorp's head. Don't have a pen big enough to separate her forever. She's such a good layer. Once they pick on others till they bleed, do they quit? Do we have to eat her?[​IMG]
     
  2. My chicken is cuter

    My chicken is cuter Chillin' With My Peeps

    183
    0
    119
    Jan 6, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Once there's blood they'll kill it. I'm sorry that you have to kill her [​IMG] but you can't risk the rest of your flock. And about eating her, I'm not sure because she might not have that much meat depending on her breed.
     
  3. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    You don't have to seperate her forever...about three days usually does the trick...she just has to get down lower in the pecking order
     
  4. granmahen

    granmahen Chillin' With My Peeps

    380
    4
    131
    Jun 11, 2008
    Bakersfield, CA
    I'll try putting her in time out for three days or so, but I guess I'd better learn how to butcher her. She's pretty big, a NHR, but I'd rather see her learn her lesson. [​IMG]
     
  5. granmahen

    granmahen Chillin' With My Peeps

    380
    4
    131
    Jun 11, 2008
    Bakersfield, CA
    Okay I just watched a great, detailed post on killing and butchering a chicken.....I can't do it, I'm too chicken. Guess I'll give her to someone braver than me if she doesn't learn to behave. I am going to try giving them all a little cat food (suggested on BYC) and see if the problem is protein. I feel like a failure.[​IMG]
     
  6. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh honey, you are not a failure! [​IMG]

    The best layers are usually the most aggressive their hormones have them so ramped up. Making eggs is really hard on their systems so they have to make sure they are at the top of the pecking order so they get the most food and best spot to sleep. It's especially bad when they are in their first years of laying.

    If you have artificial light out there it would be a good idea to turn it off, that just makes them more aggressive. Also putting out more feeders in different locations can really help.

    The more space they have the better! If you don't have room for more pasture I've found having a platform or two where they can hang out works great. It doesn't have to be elaborate, just a 2x4 on buckets will work- although the higher it is the more they like it.

    I've had hens fight and pick at each other, but I've never seen cannibilism even when a hen has died in the yard (heart attack) they didn't touch her. So it isn't true that they will always kill each other once they see blood.

    Just do what you can for them and wait it out. They will settle down eventually, I promise!
     
  7. granmahen

    granmahen Chillin' With My Peeps

    380
    4
    131
    Jun 11, 2008
    Bakersfield, CA
    Thanks Ella, I'll try the platform. And I see I've got to get them more room. Actually, Tues. nite I almost killed her on accident. All I had to separate her with was some wooden fencing and when I went out to let her roost with the others for the night, they all got together and tipped it over and caught NHR in it. She looked dead but when I lifted everything off her, she calmly got up and walked away. I actually think she has behaved better ever since.
     
  8. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,183
    10
    173
    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    I would like to recommend a product called "Peck no More" available at local feed stores or on line. It's a thick, tar like substance made from aloe and tea tree oil, and other stuff that tastes terrible. You generously smear it on the wounded hens pecked area (in your case, the head) The taste is so bad, although not dangerous, the bully will stop pecking right away. The ingredients are soothing and contain healing properties for raw areas or open wounds.

    This product has helped me so much. I do caution you that it will stain your fingers, your chicken and your clothing. Everything but your clothing will eventually come out. Good luck.

    Anne
     
  9. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,183
    10
    173
    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    Quote:BYW, I could not do this either so please stop feeling like a failure. Lots of us can't or won't.
     
  10. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    319
    0
    139
    Mar 10, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    Quote:I googled "Peck no more" to find it, but nothing came up; could you tell us where to find it online or in the Southeast? Thanks
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by