Help with flock rejecting a bird

Backyard Barb

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 1, 2011
We have had our flock for 3 years. Mix of Wyandottes and Aracanas. All are large except Annabel who isnt quite bantam sized but much smaller than the others. For years Annabel was top bird. No longer.

She caught some nasty virus. She started to separate herself from the flock when she began to fall ill. The other birds seemed to mostly leave her alone and she still roosted with them at night. Eventually she became so ill I had to take her into the house and hand feed her. The vet couldnt figure out exactly what it was but it might have been infectious anemia since her red blood cell count was down to 11%. After a few weeks she recovered but we havnt been able to reintroduce her to the flock.

When I put her out with the others they run her down and stand on her. Two or three of them pulling out her feathers and biting her comb. I cannot watch it. When she sees me she runs over to my feet and begs to be saved. Its breaking my heart. Is there any hope?

Backyard Barb
She has definately lost her rank with the others. You could try putting her in a separate cage in the coop for a while to give the others a chance to get used to her again. You can also put one or two of your more docile hens with her to keep her company.

Introducing one chicken to a flock is usually difficult but having her close to them in a cage in the coop will usually help them adjust without allowing them to peck her. We have a screen wall divider in our coop to separate our newly grown chicks from the hens while allowing them to see each other. We've kept them separate for a week or so with the wall. Also they foraged in a run while the adults free ranged. After a week or so, I let them all free range together for a few hours. There are a few squabbles, but they have adjusted quite well.

The next time you have to isolate a bird, you may want to consider putting one or two hens with her so that when you re-introduce them to the flock all the attention won't be on just one bird.
Is there any way to keep her in her own space and add another bird to give her a buddy? And then if that goes well, give it a few days and add another, and then another.....and then add that whole group back to the coop. Spread the love.

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