HELP! What is up with my older flock????

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by flocktastic, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. flocktastic

    flocktastic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So my older flock has 9 hens and 1 roo. Last summer I tried integrating a barred rock in with them and they pecked her like crazy. She seemed ok after a bit and when we went out one day after work, she was near death because they'd attacked her that day and really did a number on her. I figured it was because they were intimidated by her as she was bigger than most of them. She ended up dying shortly after we found her even though I rushed to get her out of there - it was too late. I felt awful.


    Fast forward to these past few weeks. I had a grown buff orp and we put her in a big cage next to them for a couple days so they could get acquainted at a distance. Things seemed ok. At nightfall, we put her up to roost with them and checked in the morning. She really didn't want to leave the coop. A few days in they were pecking her occasionally l, trying to establish order but it wasn't anything abnormal.
    By a week in, they'd really started to get worse and pecked a red spot at the back of her head. We put blue kote on it. My husband even held he rawhide and sat down with her and anytime any of them came up to peck her, he'd shoo them and protect her. They seemed to chill out after that but she mainly continued to hang out in the coop and would rarely go out with them. They seemed to leave her alone that way.

    So now today, I go out there after getting the kids from school and find her in the coop, one eye shut and painful looking and her comb bleeding, all the feathers torn off the back of her head...she was a disaster...laying on the floor...& she's been in with them nearly 3 weeks and now this all of the sudden???

    I grabbed her and set her up in our shed in her own big cage for now. Didn't do much doctoring yet because it was getting dark and I didnt have anything with me. I have decided I will not EVER return her to that flock and I'm really concerned I maybe need to break that flock up now. I'm sure they would have killed her if I hadn't saved her today. I'm still worried she might not be ok.

    I put fresh bedding, a nest box, food, water and her favorite treats in the cage in our shed. I'm hoping she can rest tonight and I can get a better look at her tomorrow and do any doctoring that may need to be done. I hope she doesn't lose her eye. :-/ I've decided if she pulls through, she'll be the mama and head honcho of the chicks as they get older because she's very sweet and maternal.

    But has anyone experienced this??? The flock continuing to attack any newly integrated chicken until they practically or DO kill it?? I'm shocked they've been so horrible. Pecking order and even some nastiness I get - but this just has me floored andnot makes me want to rehome half the flock at least...or cull them.

    Any help or ideas? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    The reasons could be numerous. Firstly, introducing a single hen to a flock is likely to result in "over-bullying" - bit of an oxymoron, but you know what i mean i hope. The amount of space one has for your chickens is also likely to affect things - if you free range and have multiple feeding stations, then the potential for aggression is minimised, but if you have a run and there are no escape routes within the run (places to hide or get away from aggression) then it will not help. Also, its useful to use the look no touch approach for a few weeks, rather than a couple of days. Once chickens see blood, their aggression is turned up a few notches, since naturally, chickens will try and chase out a sick chicken from a flock.

    Hope this helps a little - if you have not done so already, maybe try typing "integrating single hens into a flock" as see what pops up.

    all the best
    CT
     
  3. flocktastic

    flocktastic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feel awful!! I had read before about integrating a new chicken in & putting them on the roost with the others at night. I figured we were doing everything right with putting her next to them for a few days (husband said it was 3 days ) They have plenty of space but definitely not many places to hide out in the yard. Hence why she stayed in the coop most of the time I'm sure.

    I thought she'd be ok because she'd been in there 3 weeks with the and it seemed like they'd left her alone and she looked fine and then bam - out of nowhere today, it's like they went berserk!

    Guess I have even more research to do. I also think there maybe a few big bullies in that flock now...may
    need to separate or rehom. (Sigh) Thank you for sharing your advice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    You are welcome, but you have nothing to feel bad about - don't sweat it. There's no reason why giving a time out to the bullies for 2-3 weeks is not worth a try - it should in theory lower their place in the pecking order. If, after that they show no signs of being less aggressive, then go for the re-homing option.

    Good luck

    CT
     
  5. flocktastic

    flocktastic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any recommendations on what's best for her red, bald spot that's really inflamed on the back of her head? And her bloody comb? I'm on my way out there in a bit and going to google some stuff too but like to cover my bases double and ask people here too...
     
  6. sarah25bear

    sarah25bear Out Of The Brooder

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    Here is my recommendations
    1) keep her separate until healed
    2) vetricyn spray gel until healed on back of head
    3) vetricyn opthalmic gel for eye
    4) mix in some scrambled eggs into feed for extra protein and healing powers
    Once 100 percent healed
    1) combine BO with a hen from your older flock for at least 4 days
    2) combine those 2 hens with another hen for 4 days
    3) keep adding hens if there isn't any blood damage when half the flock is in with your BO then combine them and see how they do

    Good luck
     
  7. flocktastic

    flocktastic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you...did the veterycin spray and by the end of today she's looking much better and the swollen eye is partially open is it looks like that eye will be ok!

    She is going to stay separated from the flock and heal. I actually think I might put her in with the chicks once she's better and they're a bit older - she's so calm and motherly, I think she'll do great with them...time will tell!

    Thank you both for your suggestions! Definitely gave me more ideas and perspective!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
  8. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Any time! [​IMG]
     
  9. flocktastic

    flocktastic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Holy typos lol ...I edited...I shouldn't type or text late at night apparently! [​IMG]
     
  10. flocktastic

    flocktastic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok this same pullet had an eye issue that Kathy was helping me with...her eye looks great after Terramycin ointment but NOW her feet on just the outer toes where they're feathered, are bloody, like she's been picking her feet or pulling her feathers off those outer toes. I put veterycin for now but what's up with this girl???
    NONE of the other birds in her flock have any signs of injury or illness...Now a few of the others are attracted to her feet because of the blood but what's up with her?! There's other chickens with feathered feet and one just like her that none of the others are bothering.

    I'm bringing her home with me. Ideas? Thoughts?

    Please help...I'm not sure what's going on with her...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    @casportpony
     

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