Flock Has Turned On One Chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by klesoine, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. klesoine

    klesoine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 11 chickens that were hatched together and have grown up together. One chicken which had a very rough time surviving the hatch probably shouldn't have survived or should have been culled. But I force fed her into existence and she has always been really different; coordination issues, first to have body louse, skinny, always looks disheveled, etc . The other chickens up til now
    have always been nice to her and protected her and she liked to be right in the middle of them. She ate with all the chickens around her. She would take dust baths with them all around her. Now she acts like she is scared to death of all of them. She keeps herself separated and will only eat when none of them are around. She runs in terror if another walks toward her. The other chickens will walk over and peck at her for no reason and walk away but I see the chickens doing that to each other often and no one seems to take it personally like Rudy. The more this is going on the more the other chickens seem to isolate her. She goes into the coop a half hour earlier than everyone and roosts to get a place, I'm assuming. I feel really bad for her. I think she's miserable and don't know what to do short of making a room in my house for her so she can live peacefully. Is there anything I can do or is this just how nature is?
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    It sounds like she is the low man on the pecking order. It's not a pleasant place to be, but it is the way it is. She was raised with these coop-mates from a young age? There is nothing you can do except maybe maybe separate her from the flock with a friend or 2 and house them apart. Pick a couple of other hens who are submissive to be her new coop-mates. Good luck.

    I had a hen I had to re-home because she got beaten so badly, and nothing worked to stop it. She moved to a situation where she was the eldest of a starter flock and it worked out perfectly. She was the smallest of my flock and got beaten up regularly. She was the largest in her new home and was able to establish herself as one of the dominant hens early on.
     
  3. klesoine

    klesoine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes I hatched them all together. They are now about 14 weeks old. Does the chicken behavior with pecking order become increasingly noticeable as they age? They're all very friendly social chickens. They have lots of food and lots of room to hang out and just enjoy. I confess I'm really stumped by this behavior but these are my first chickens. I have a second pen that I keep two very calm and gentle guinea hens that I'm going to house this chicken in tonight and see what happens. It is getting too cold here to raise a flock of bantams but I am going to do that in spring. Maybe that will be helpful to all. Rudy can be the queen of that roost.
     
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    They do get more nasty with each other as they age because the tussles are more serious. Whoever comes out on top is the head honcho and gets first pick of everything from food, to roosting spots, to nesting boxes, to choicest treats, and on and on...

    If you house the chicken with the guineas put her in at night so they all wake up together. That sometimes works. They wake up , look around and say, "Oh! Have you always been here? Good to see you!" But I would still keep an eye on things to make sure they are not being too mean to the newbie.

    Good luck. New introductions can be challenging.
     
  5. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

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    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    I was having trouble introducing young hens which are all bantams of one sort or another to a few larger birds, EE's to be exact. They would attack the litle ones with venom. Well, they went to birdie jail. A few days in jail and I would let them out. If they went after them I immediately put them back in jail. I kept that up until they got the point. Now it is just the roo of the pair and he will go after one but doesn't try to kill it. Like he's trying to show them whos boss.

    Chicken jail is a cage made completely out of wire and just big enough for 2 birds to sit on a perch, jump on the floor and eat right there. If they move around they knock their food over. I always made sure they ate enough and had water but if they knocked their food over and it spilled it stayed that way until the next day. Part of the punishment. The hen had to lay her eggs in there too. She was the first one to decide she didn't like jail and straightened up.

    Oh, I forgot one point. This cage was located inside the coop where the jailed birds have to watch the others have freedom and food 24/7. The others would get on top of the cage and we all know what chickens do when they poop. They do it where ever their standing at the time. It took the roo 4 days to decide he didn't like jail.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009

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