Help reintroducing Hen back into flock.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by blessedfamily, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. blessedfamily

    blessedfamily New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2013
    Indiana
    We have a buff who went broody so we got some eggs from a friend so the kids could experience how eggs are hatched naturally. She was with 4 other assorted breeds(hens) and now one has pecked her head so bad it bled. She was in our garage for 2 months and I would let her out to free range with the others so I could hopefully add her back but now she has to go back into the garage until her wound heals. I only see one hen pecking her and only when they are in the coop. They free range most of the day and then back in the coop/run at night. Should I take the one pecking out? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Amber
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You can remove the pecker, or you can put piness peepers on all the potential bullies. They are chicken blinders that SOME people have good results with.

    Kind of a last resort, since they can be hard to put on...I think you have to soften them with warm water first.

    Also, spraying the wound with Blu Kote (stains) can help to make the wound area less attractive to the others. Rooster Booster pick no more lotion tastes bad to them and that can be applied once the wound heals, as well.

    The chicken removed goes down in the pecking order, which can be a temporary thing. So by removing the bully, she will be lower in the pecking order theoretically when you reintroduce her a couple of weeks later. Nothing is guaranteed though and it may be the same problem later.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Can you put her in an area of the coop for a week that she can see/interact with the others, but not get beaten up? This is the best way to integrate chickens. Over the week, they will get used to each other. Then you can put them all together at night. I no longer remove my broodies from the flock due to having a tough time re-integrating a hen back into the flock. Her babies did fine, but the hen had a really tough time. She wasn't eating, hiding on the roost all day - I had to work really hard to get her accepted again.
     
  4. blessedfamily

    blessedfamily New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2013
    Indiana
    Hello and thanks for all the suggestions. I can not put her in the coop in a separate area as it is not big enough for that. I have put her out to free range with the others for several weeks daily and they just stayed away from each other but once in the coop this ONE hen just won't stop so for now she is in the garage once again until her wound heals on her head :( I will try removing the meanie when she is well and see how that goes for me. What happens if she just wont' stop picking on her even after I take her out for a few weeks? New home for meanie? Thanks again for taking the time to help me figure this out. Amber
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
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    Do you have an area of the yard that she could be in and be protected from them while they get used to her again?
     
  6. blessedfamily

    blessedfamily New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2013
    Indiana
    Hello again. I have a new plan possibly but not sure it will work so I wanted to get some advice. I have 4 hens in one coop and 2 in my garage in different cages and was wondering if I could just move all chickens into my bigger coop as we just gave away the chickens that we had in there. I was thinking of moving them all tonight but didn't know if there would still be issues with the top chicken? I can crate her in that coop if need be for awhile. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
     
  7. Bukbuk Betty

    Bukbuk Betty Out Of The Brooder

    hi there, here's what has worked for me when re-introducing healed birds, or introducing new birds- and I have my mother-in-law to thank for the suggestion. Pick a day that isn't going to be super warm/nice out- and go put the introducees into the coop with the rest of the flock at night when everyone has kind of settled down. I black out their window and leave them in there together in the dark for a night/day/night and the following day I remove the blackout and let them out to free range like usual. It seems to make it difficult for everyone to really peck at eachother in the dark, and gives the new birds time to take on the same scents as the existing ones. I've also used a gooey product called "Stop Peck" and put it on more than half of all the birds just before putting in the "new" birds and this seems to distract them enough as well. The Day of Darkness worked well for reintroducing one of my roosters (he had been pecked at to bleeding so I separated him for a few weeks to heal)- suprisingly it only took a couple days after that to sort the pecking order out and things to get back to normal. And that's my two bits. :)
     

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