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Having a problem

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by singinfree, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. singinfree

    singinfree New Egg

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    Jun 27, 2008
    I have 23 Black Australorps in a 12 x14 coop. They are 10 weeks old. The problem I am having is that one of them has absolutely no more feathers on her bum and it is bloody. I found her this way this morning. I also saw other chickens pecking her in that spot before I could catch her. I have separated her from the others and now I don't know what to do. Why would they be hurting one of their own flock? and how do I find out which one or ones are doing this dastardly deed? ANY advice would be much appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    This is very common practice in the "pecking" order of things. You seem to have more than enough room for them. Are they outside? What is thier run space? I would sepertate her but maybe bring along one or two others to keep company, then she may have a buddy that will stand up for her when you return her.
     
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    The world of chickens is a cold cruel place. They are not respectors of people nor other chickens.

    They establish a pecking order and the ones low in the list are picked on and not treated with favor. Sad but true.

    Keep the injured bird out. Clean the wound with saline or simple soap and water. Dry well. Apply neosporin. I use blu kote. The chicken cannot go back in until the wound has healed. Otherwise they will start pecking again and will make it worse. The sight of a bloody sore will drive them to pick more. Do not add a friend to her hospital care space. The other one will just peck and make the sore worse.

    You don't want them pecking and picking the open sore. A chicken can and will slowly eat another chicken alive in this manner.

    How large is your out door run? 12 x 14 for coop and run is not alot of space for 23 large breed chickens. You figure a chicken house at 4 sq ft per bird and the run about 10 sq ft per bird.

    Over crowding and boredom are the main reasons for these problems.
     
  4. singinfree

    singinfree New Egg

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    Jun 27, 2008
    Thanks for the quick responses. I have separated the chicken and found one more that they had started to peck at and removed her also. They have not been turned out for free range yet due to the fact that I felt they were still to small to fend for themselves against the cat. I have 6 full grown white rocks that are free ranging in the yard. I have 2 acres cleared that they roam. Do you think I should let the blacks out with the whites? Or am I just asking for more trouble? Sorry for all the questions I have not had chickens since I was a kid and I am afraid I underestimated my knowledge of back yard fowls.... So here I am asking you wonderful people if I can pick your brains for your knowledge. [​IMG]
     
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    Have they been able to see one another all this time - the older and the younger? The need to be introduced. It works out better to get them to about 16 weeks when they are closer to the same as size as the adult birds so they can defend themselves against the attacks that will come in the pecking order shake up.At 16 weeks or so let the younger ones out about 1.5 - 2 hours before dark and let them range. The should go bacl looking to roost before dark the shut them back in. Make it a routine and extend it a little each week watching for problems. They may integrate easily over time.
     
  6. singinfree

    singinfree New Egg

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    Jun 27, 2008
    yes they are able to see each other every day for the past 2 weeks. The grown chickens roosting place is attached to the youngers coop with chicken wire separating them. Thanks again for the info. Will wait the extra month and a half before letting out the younguns... :)
     
  7. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:HOW OLD ARE THEY ?

    I have 29 - 12 - 14 week old teens , RIR's , austrolorps , and barred Rocks . THEY have been turned LOOSE in COOP AND RUN with the 6 FULL size hens for 2 weeks now .

    NO problems .

    GOOD LORD , I was raised on a farm until age 6 , and I promise you all , if my parents or people years ago had to PLAY BY A BOOK Like MOST of you think has to be done to raise chickens , WE WOULD OF STARVED to death . FOOD , WATER , NEST BOX , and ROOST , and PREDATOR PROOF , AND ITS A DONE DEAL .
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
  8. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I free range on a couple of acres and have 5 adult chickens. I let my 10 hatchery chicks out of their little pen at about 8 or 9 weeks of age.

    The big chickens pretty much ignored them. They stayed in separate groups. The chicks stayed near the coop, while the adults went about their business on "the range". But, my adult chickens are pretty mellow, and I supervised carefully at first.

    It might be a good thing to give them a bit of supervised outside time. Let them out for an hour or so before bedtime, and hang out with them so you can see how the hens react to them. It will give them something to do besides pick at each other.

    I hope your injured babies heal up quickly!
     
  9. spottedtail

    spottedtail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 5, 2007
    Minnesota
    Not only should you isolate the injured hens, but carefully watch for the attackers and remove them permanently. Red beaks can be a good tell-tale sign.

    If the guilty hens are kept, it turns into a destructive cycle because when the injured hen is removed they'll usually just move on to another victim.


    Good luck,
    spot
     
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    Quote:I was raised on a farm until the age of 42. That gives me about 36 years more experience. The chicken world is cold and cruel. They don't follow a book but they do have VERY predictable behavior. As livestock it is our job as caretakers to read that behavior and to provide proper feedback and care.
     

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