Help! Advice needed with hen pecking........

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chris10sen, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. chris10sen

    chris10sen Out Of The Brooder

    May 30, 2010
    So I really need some advice. I have 5 hens who have been together since they came in the mail when they were 3 days old. They are now 6 1/2 months old. Here is the list of girls....

    1. Betty Australorp
    2. Henrietta Red Star
    3. Jezebel Red Star
    4. Pancake Silver Laced Wyandotte
    5. Lulu Easter Egger

    So roughly 2 weeks age Betty came down with some respiratory symptoms. She had a goose like cough and a sneeze. Well I am new to this chicken thing and I was afraid she was going to get really sick. Since none of the other girls where showing any signs I decided to put her in quarantine in my garage in a dog create. Boy was that a mistake. Well I kept her there one week. When I put her back with her sisters all he** broke loose. I had no idea one week apart would upset the harmony. Until now we had no problems what so ever.

    Jezebel and Pancake are pecking at Betty, enough to make her comb bleed. I have since put blu- kote on it.

    Betty is pecking at Lulu.

    I have since put Betty in the dog crate but inside the coop.

    I don't know what to do. I have read that maybe i should put the bully in the crate. But really there seems to be more than one. I have been letting Betty out for supervised together time.

    I am so sad. Prior to this I had complete flock harmony. I so want this back. Will it ever happen again? Do I get rid of Betty? I sure would hate to do that but I cant stand having the girls being mean to each other. I know it doesn't help that it is winter here in MN and they are not getting free range time. Their coop is 4.5 x 5.5 elevated. Their run is 4.5 x 12. So I think they have enough space. If you were me, what would you do?
  2. Featherland

    Featherland Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    Isolate the trouble makers preferable separately. Then let them re-establish their pecking order.
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Giving Betty away would be unfair to whoever took her. Betty was ill with a respiratory illness of unknown origin. She could be a carrier of something now because respiratory illnesses can render a bird a carrier for life even after recovery.

    The best option is to leave her in the crate for a couple days/a week to let her mates get used to the sight of her again. Allow her access to her own food and water. After a week set her loose. There may be some squabbling, but probably not much. Try to stay uninvolved if you can. Just make sure no one is getting beaten up too badly. They will work out their problems for themselves hopefully.

    Your situation is exactly why I try to avoid separating birds if at all possible. I once had to re-home my best layer because I couldn't get her flock to take her back after an injury. So, don't feel alone- it happens... too often.

    Good luck with them.

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