Do I separate aggresive chicken? Please help!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by goldcountrygirl, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. goldcountrygirl

    goldcountrygirl New Egg

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    Aug 21, 2010
    Placer County, CA
    I've got three 6-month BRs who have just started laying. This week one of the hens somehow cut her comb and the other chickens pecked at the blood before we could clean it and put on peck-no-more lotion. Ever since, the alpha female has been pecking at this hen more and more aggressively - not just on the wound (which is almost healed), but all over her body.

    We hoped they would work it out on their own, but it got so bad in the coop last night (the poor victim was squawking nonstop and trying to get away to no avail) that we pulled out the aggressor and are putting her in a medium-sized dog carrier (we have no other way to separate them).

    Does anyone have any advice? Should we keep her separate for a few days, or longer? Would that alter the pecking order? Is a dog carrier enough room? Thanks for your help!
     
  2. rcentner

    rcentner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2009
    Le Roy, NY
    I have separated a nasty hen before, I think it was about 1 1/2 weeks she was out. When I put her back in she seemed less aggresive, but I think maybe 2 weeks would have been better. I felt bad for her in there, by herself and she looked sad. I don't think it was so much that she had to re-claim her status, but the appreciation of being back with the bunch. Right now, I have 2 hens that are somewhat of bullies and they are actually calming down since I put 2 new hens in the coop and those hens don't give a crap if they get pecked. It seems to boggle their minds that the new hens are not running and screaming like the others do.
    maybe a coincidence?
     
  3. goldcountrygirl

    goldcountrygirl New Egg

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    Aug 21, 2010
    Placer County, CA
    Thanks for the advice! I'll see if I can keep her in jail for two weeks. It will take willpower, though...she does look sad and lonely in there.

    I'm thinking that with just three in the flock, maybe they don't have enough to do besides peck at each other? I free range them as much as possible, but when I reunite them, maybe I'll try hanging some cabbage for them to peck...give them some more mental stimulation or something.
     

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