1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Flock rejection of injured girl

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DeniseMace, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. DeniseMace

    DeniseMace In the Brooder

    My poor Chickbird. A week and a half ago, my cocker spaniel decided she wanted to eat a chicken, so she grabbed my poor Chickbird by the leg and pinned her down before I could grab her. Normally she leaves the chickens alone, but now we know she can't be trusted, so she's separated from my girls. Chick's leg wasn't broken, but it was badly sprained, and possibly partially dislocated, the vet said it's hard to tell. So she came inside in the crate for several days, until she started bearing weight on it and trying to walk and hop about. I took her outside for some air, and the other birds immediately began trying to peck her face off. So she came back in for several more days, to finish healing until she could hold her own. She still has a slight limp, and she won't extend her wings fully the way the other birds do when they posture at each other. So the birds are still picking on her. I introduced her back in the coop at night when everyone was asleep, and if she keeps to herself in the yard they won't chase her (my birds have the run of the backyard) but when she comes close they peck and chase until she leaves, and last night she didn't even try to get in the coop, she perched on my windowsill and tapped on the glass, like she was begging to come back in :( Should I bring her back in until that leg heals completely (the vet said it may never fully heal, she may always limp) or should I try to wait it out? Should I consider finding her a new home as a singleton? I just feel so bad for the poor sweet thing, she's my most lovable hen.

  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Can you pen her up in the coop for a few days, to be with the other chickens, but safely out of reach? Then start letting her out for an hour before they come in to roost with some supervision. If she doesn't come inside, put her in at dark, and set her on the roost. If one hen is more aggressive, separate her for a few days to a week. It is normal for there to be pecking after separation, but they should work it out eventually.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    It's the pecking order - the social life of chickens is like mean girls in high school. It doesn't sound as if they are causing physical harm to her so I would let them work things out. Removing her from the flock will just prolong the process. That being said, if they do start causing physical harm, it will be necessary to remove her until she can hold her own.
  4. Joanmcm

    Joanmcm Songster

    Jan 27, 2013
    Copake Falls, NY
    We have a chicken RIR prodcution 'Willie". For three years, all was fine. She and her production sisters were joined by 5 heritage hens and a rooster. All went well. One day Willie got stuck in the poultry netting and got a severe pecking from the flock. She was bleeding from the top of her head when we found her. We took her in the house until she recovered. She ended up spending a few months in the walkout basement because the weather turned cold and we waited til it warmed up a bit before putting her out again.

    She rejoined the flock in the Spring and all was well for about a month.

    Then a fox attacked the flock while they were freeranging. Normally we are outside. We just went inside for a bit. Heard the commoditon and caught the fox with one of the hens. The fox killed two production hens and the rooster. Injured four of the remaining hens including Willie. If our typically butcher was not remodeling, all four would of been put down right away. By the next morning they looked much better. One hen flipped out about being in the house and insisted on going back outside, ran down to the pen, laid an egg and was fine. Three remaining including Willie were recuperating for three weeks.

    Yesterday all three were sent back to the flock. The two other chickens pretty uneventfully joined the flock. Poor Willie was ok for the evening but when she tried to go from the coop to the outside pen, the flock attacked her and she is now separated in a crate inside the coop. Again the flock drew blood.

    At this point, I am not sure I want to put this poor chicken through any more. She is friendly with people but has a balance problem and cannot run as fast as the other chickens.

    Not sure what to do. To top it off, two of the heritage hens started nests. Not sure if this added to the problem or if I should wait until chicks come. Willie with a slight balance problem may always be at the bottom of the heap and it is unfair to her because she is not as strong as the other chickens.

    Chickens are just the way they are and nothing will change that.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by