Help! Hiding chicken

Kate Shaw

Chirping
Jan 24, 2019
38
51
90
Avon, NY
Hi!
My flock is about a year old and until now I’ve been fortunate to not have any “behavior” issues amongst my hens. So I’m really stuck here...
A few weeks ago one of my hens was picked on pretty badly and ended up with some wounds to her head and around her eye. I treated the wounds, separated her in a wire crate in with the rest of the flock and would sneak her in the coop at night. I did this for about 1-2 weeks until the wounds were healed. I had tried to let her out sooner but she was afraid and when she squatted down the others hanged up on her.
Fast forward, she is out of the crate and in with the rest of the flock. Occasionally I’ll see another bird bully her but if she runs away they leave her be. She will be out most of the morning but mid-day I go to check on them and she’s roosting in the coop. If I take her out she makes her way back in. Last night when I went to lock them in she was outside while the rest were in. The night before she was fine and was actually in on the top roost.
any idea on how to help this chicken?
 

Show Sebright

Songster
Apr 1, 2020
458
614
166
Orlando FL
What I do is I don’t do anything special to that bird. If she gets more attention or gets protected by you she is seen as weak. I am not a expert at this but it is probably some hens that feel like they need to be higher in the pecking order. When my birds start to attack one bird I go around and just bump their beak. They don’t like it al slowly learned that fighting in front me is not a good idea. Is she smaller then the rest of the flock? If she is small then that my be a reason. Maybe can you post s picture of her?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,235
19,980
857
Southeast Louisiana
Even if I were there watching it would probably be challenging to know what caused that. I suspect there was a challenge to the pecking order and this hen lost. Or maybe something is wrong with this hen, maybe sickness or injury that makes her vulnerable. Chickens can be bullies if they sense someone is weak. But it could be something else.

Is it just one hen instigating the bullying? Sometimes one starts it and the others join in. If you can determine one as the instigator isolate her for a while and see how the rest of the flock treats that hen. It may help you figure out the problem. For the peace of your flock you may have to decide which hen to keep. In those situations I sometimes remove the instigator and sometimes the victim. My goal is peace in the flock, not "oh you poor thing".

I've seen pullets act like that, being on the roosts in the coop during the day, when cockerels were bothering them. They are avoiding those bullying cockerels. As long as no one is getting hurt (and no pullet ever has) I ignore it, they work it out. But your hen is getting hurt, that's different.

There are a lot of things I don't know about your flock or how much room you have or when these attacks occur. It's hard to come up with specific suggestions. There are several different things you could try, mostly involving separating some of the chickens. I don't know which would work for you.
 

Kate Shaw

Chirping
Jan 24, 2019
38
51
90
Avon, NY
Just give it more time.
She may be low bird forever now, but as long as she can eat and drink, she'll work it out.
That’s what I’m worried about she seems to be losing weight....would it be appropriate to add a feeder inside the coop? I haven’t because I wanted her to come out but I’m not certain she is
 

Kate Shaw

Chirping
Jan 24, 2019
38
51
90
Avon, NY
What I do is I don’t do anything special to that bird. If she gets more attention or gets protected by you she is seen as weak. I am not a expert at this but it is probably some hens that feel like they need to be higher in the pecking order. When my birds start to attack one bird I go around and just bump their beak. They don’t like it al slowly learned that fighting in front me is not a good idea. Is she smaller then the rest of the flock? If she is small then that my be a reason. Maybe can you post s picture of her?
She is smaller now, but wasn’t when she was first injured 😞
 

humblehillsfarm

Crowing
Mar 27, 2020
3,040
5,808
391
Southwestern Pennsylvania
My Coop
My Coop
I had an issue with a hen that had to be separated. It took a good six months for her to move from the bottom of the pecking order, so to an extent these things take time. My boyfriend and I differed greatly on opinions for how to handle her. He was a big softie and wanted to continue to protect her, and I "threw her to the birds".
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,235
19,980
857
Southeast Louisiana
I keep separate feeders and waterers inside and out, but I almost always have juveniles with the flock. Still, by having more than one you reduce the chance of conflict. I'd consider that a good thing.

With her losing weight I suspect she may have health issues. Some flocks try to kick out sick or injured members. In the wild weak flock members can attract predators so some may still have that instinct to protect the flock. There are a lot of things it could be but I'd start looking at that aspect.
 

Kate Shaw

Chirping
Jan 24, 2019
38
51
90
Avon, NY
I keep separate feeders and waterers inside and out, but I almost always have juveniles with the flock. Still, by having more than one you reduce the chance of conflict. I'd consider that a good thing.

With her losing weight I suspect she may have health issues. Some flocks try to kick out sick or injured members. In the wild weak flock members can attract predators so some may still have that instinct to protect the flock. There are a lot of things it could be but I'd start looking at that aspect.
I have multiple feeders outside but none inside. She wasn’t smaller until this started so I’m hoping it’s that she is eating less and not something more serious.
 

Kate Shaw

Chirping
Jan 24, 2019
38
51
90
Avon, NY
I had an issue with a hen that had to be separated. It took a good six months for her to move from the bottom of the pecking order, so to an extent these things take time. My boyfriend and I differed greatly on opinions for how to handle her. He was a big softie and wanted to continue to protect her, and I "threw her to the birds".
It’s so hard to just watch but I know I need to 😣
 

MANNA-PRO

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