Curious why this is now occurring and wish to know how to treat ...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sue d, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. Sue d

    Sue d In the Brooder

    Good evening, All.
    I have a question about a pullet of mine: just very recently it appears she is being pecked at, with obvious feather loss to the top of her head. (no blood, just missing feathers) I have 5 pullets and all have been together since they've been 3 days old. They are now 10 months, with never an issue, until recently.

    No new changes. protein is sufficient, same routine, no mites and/or lice. But it seems at dusk when she tries to jump up onto the roosting bar, the others don't let her, and thus, peck at her head, so she sleeps on the floor of the coop.
    Curious as to why this behavior would suddenly begin after all this time and wondering how best to help her? her personality is such, that she's a bit high strung: is the loudest and most vocal (always has been) but there were never any issues with the flock.

    they are housed in a 4x8 coop, with an attached run that is 9x12, as well as being let out daily to roam about while I clean.

    Thank you for any help and advice.

    it is much appreciated

  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    What you're seeing is a hen at the bottom of the pecking order. Chicken world can be cruel sometimes.

    Get some Blue-kote or Blue Lotion and paint it on her pink spots. That may make her less of a target.

    If this hen is becoming more of a victim, if the others are bullying her away from the feeder, if she appears to be losing weight, you might want to rig up a small safe area within the run where she can spend her days in peace, with food and water that she doesn't have to fear being run off from. But at the same time, it's important she isn't removed from the flock or she will face the exact same problems when you return her.

    This happened to a Brahma hen of mine some years back. I gave her a three- week "vacation" in the jail pen inside my run, and she went through a personality change when she emerged from her pen. Where before, she ran away when confronted, she was now standing up for herself. The time out gave her her self confidence back.

    If your hen is all right except for the bald head, give things time. Soon someone else will be bottom of the pecking order, and this hen will be moving up. I have a hen who was at the bottom eight years ago, and now she is number two out of twenty-four. Pecking order is a very fluid thing. It never remains the same from week to week.
  3. Sue d

    Sue d In the Brooder

    Thank you for your reply. :)

    curious (as I'm still new to chickens) why this behavior would suddenly manifest itself after all this time?
    they've all always gotten along so well, and I was very happy about this.
    I feel so bad for her....
    what might cause this behavior to randomly, suddenly begin?
  4. Sue d

    Sue d In the Brooder

    ^ n/m. I'm guessing it is, as you stated, the fluidity of the order.
    thanks (well said)

    I will purchase the product you mentioned and go from there. thanks again!

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