Hen attacked by hen(s) while in nest box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ailurophile23, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 21, 2010
    VA
    So, one of my speckled sussex girls was attacked while in the nest box - blood and feathers everywhere. Looks like one or more of the other girls went for her comb and just beat the crud out of her. The attackee has since been removed to a large dog crate so we can treat her (clean her up, apply blue lotion and give PenG shots as her comb quickly became infected). My questions relate more to the behavior - what might have trigger this? What can I do to prevent this in the future? The girls are currently molting so I suspect they are stressed - could this have triggered the attack? I have bumped up their protein levels and am giving them plenty of treats. They have plenty of space - 24'x12' completely enclosed run for 12 chickens with numerous roosts; 4'x8' coop with 3 nest boxes and roosts - during the day, they have access to both the coop and the run. They also get free range time in a fenced area (40'x50') in the afternoons/evenings/weekends - usually 2-3 hours a day minimum. I thought this particular hen was higher up in the pecking order as she seems to be the leader at least for the speckled sussex girls. The other hens are light brahmas. Any thoughts on the best way to re-integrate her into the flock once we are done with the PenG shots?
     
  2. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    I have noticed that if one of mine go broody the others are cruel to her, I wonder if this could have happened to your hen?
     
  3. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    14
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    Dec 21, 2010
    VA
    None of the hens seemed to be broody at the time. And so far, when my hens do go broody, the others don't tend to bother them - they either use a different nest box or just sit on top of the broody and lay their eggs. But, so far, no fighting like what happened this time.
     

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