Hen attacked and injured when introduced to flock. Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Aetheling05, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Aetheling05

    Aetheling05 New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Sep 3, 2011
    My family is very new to raising chickens. We traded a rooster for a hen, and put the hen (full-grown White leghorn) in with our flock. Our flock is 5 3 1/2-month old mixed-breed chickens (not including rooster traded today), 3 roos and 2 hens. The hen rode back home in a carrier with one of our roos, and they got along fine so we thought she'd be okay, and we checked on them several times. Somehow our other chickens managed to beat up her without making any noise, and without us seeing. The leghorn has a torn comb and a deep puncture wound on the back of her head. I disinfected the wound and put ground pepper on it (someone said that stops bleeding, seems to work) and anti-biotic ointment. I put her in a dog crate with food and water, is eating and drinking, but whenever I open the door she dashes out. Is there any other treatment I should have done on her? What can I do to calm her down, and how long should we wait before introducing her again (via putting the dog crate where the chickens can see one another)? Sorry for long post!
     
  2. Aetheling05

    Aetheling05 New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Sep 3, 2011
    Oh, and we have an unused duck coop we just finished. Should we put the hen in it? It's ~3 x 3 1/2 ft.
     
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Trying to introduce a lone hen to an established flock is not easy. Normally you should quarentine a new bird to check for illness before even trying to introduce them, but since she's already been with them that's a moot point now. You'll have to keep her isolated from them until she heals up or they'll just keep beating on her and pecking the wounds. If you can keep her where they can all see each other without any contact after a few weeks you can try to reintroduce her.

    I'd also try to rehome 2 more of your roos. 3 roos on 3 hens is too many roos.
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    32
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Here's what I did when I had a broody hen to reintroduce to the flock (plus she was the bottom of the pecking order, anyway). I picked another chicken that I knew she got along with (they were clutch mates) and put her in a separate pen with the former broody (Hermione). Then after a couple of days, I put another low ranking chicken in with Hermione and her buddy. A few days after that, I added another chicken to that trio. I kept this up until the whole flock was now in the second pen.

    When the higher ranking chickens joined the separate pen, they joined as singles and were being added to a new territory, so they were a little off balance. They did not whup on Hermione as much as they would have if she had joined them on their own territory. Yes, Hermione did get picked on some, but not as bad as if she'd had to go through the whole flock picking on her in a single day. She did not get ganged up on.

    By the way, I've never heard about putting pepper in an open wound. That sounds painful! Personally, I'd use flour or cornstarch to stop bleeding, if necessary.
     
  5. Aetheling05

    Aetheling05 New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Sep 3, 2011
    Thank you both! We are trying to re-home the roos (hence the trade the hen came from), but we only figured out which are roosters recently. I think the disinfectant hurt worse than the pepper, but cornstarch sounds easier to use.
    elmo, that sounds like a great idea! One of our hens is very smaller than the leghorn, and pretty docile, so that could work. Katy, the hen was in the pen about 2hrs, so a quarantine might still be useful, good thinking.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by