HELP! Injured Hen Attacked By Other Hens When Reintroduced Too Flock

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ksg68, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. ksg68

    ksg68 Hatching

    Mar 17, 2013
    Tidewater, Virginia
    I have a 1 1/2yr old Black Jersey Giant (Noir) that got thru a hole in the fence into a neighbor's yard & was attacked by their dog a few weeks ago (Aug 13). It was actually eating her alive before I could get the neighbor to get the dog off & give me the hen. It ate the skin & feathers on her back, split her right wing in half & pulled the skin holding that wing away from her body detaching the wing from her body, injured the left leg & left wing. She made no sound at all during the attack but when they handed her to me she started screaming. I have NEVER heard an animal or person scream like Noir did the moment she knew I was holding her & I sincerely I hope I never do again. We doused her with peroxide, cleaned off as many feathers as we could from her back & I held her for almost an hour because she would start screaming whenever I tried to put her down. I put her in a large crate in an unused room & kept an eye on her for infection (none ever developed) as well as her water & food intake.

    After a 5 days I started seeing small cleared areas on her back were she had started slowly cleaning off the dried blood & feathers stuck to her back. She wouldn't move from the crate for almost a week & then only a little at a time due to the injured leg. The leg & left wing were fully healed by last week & she's walking all over the room like she owns it. The right wing is healed but still split in half, detached & useless. I don't believe she will ever have use of that wing again, she never moves it. I continue to see cleared areas on her back & around the damaged wing where she's cleaning herself. Her tail feathers are going back in but her back remains bald & I'm not sure she can grow feathers there anymore.

    Noir is now very active, eating well, curious & likes to hang with the cats when they jump the baby gate so I thought she was well enough to go back outside with the flock. As soon as she got outside one of the other hens attacked her. She made it off the deck & within 5 seconds the other hens started attacking her, not 'pecking order' attack but viciously - it looked like a cock fight you'd see on TV. The neck feathers of the hens were completely spread out when they attacked. She tried to fight back but can't spread her wings anymore & kept falling over. They chased her, attacking her the whole time while she tried to get away & hide. I managed to grab her (1st time she's let me touch her since her attack) & brought her back inside. She was happy when I put her outside & now she's sitting in her carrier upset. They were trying to really hurt her - as in maim & severely injure hurt - even her clutch mate who has always stayed right beside her.

    So what do I do to get her back into the flock? Do I need to fence off a part of the yard for her so they can get used to her again to reintroduce her to the flock? I knew I was going to have to make adjustments to the coop since she can't roost as high as the others anymore but I didn't count on the other hens trying to literally go for blood. I've introduced new hens to this flock before & never had any problems - pecked @ yes, but never this kind of aggression. Noir's seems fully healed, she's loosing feathers but so are a few other & I assumed she's molting too. Should I wait a while longer & try again? Noir has always had the best personality, sweetest of the flock & loved being carried around. She needs to go back outside & I don't know what to do. HELP!
  2. chickcrack

    chickcrack Songster

    May 27, 2016
    Ontario, Canada
    Oh the poor girl. What a horrible story...I'm so glad you were able to nurse her back to health. Can you fit a dog crate in your pen/coop? You may have to play it by ear and observe the flocks behaviour but Noir needs to be in sight of the others but safe from them. there will still be some show boating through the cage likely but that will calm down. It's normal for chickens to attack another that they deem ill as it poses a threat to the flock. That and the normal pecking order disruption will cause the behavior you describe and Noir probably doesn't look like she did the last time they saw her. So in the flocks mind there is a sick stranger in our midst and she needs to go!
    Give them some time to get used to the new Noir. I also suggest a hen saddle (apron) if her back is still bare or scabbed when around the others. Best wishes and let us know how it goes.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Thenewgoat

    Thenewgoat Chirping

    Sep 3, 2016
    I would have her seperate from the others but where she could get out and see them and them her. Just wire in the middle then i would pour feed on the ground right along the wire line so that she is there with them but they are distracted

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by