hen being attacked

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by angelkisses, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. angelkisses

    angelkisses Hatching

    May 18, 2008
    We have 4 hens for my daughters and my oldest took one to the fair to show. She was there a couple weeks and now the 3 hens won't let her back in their coop. They have pecked her face all up and she just hides in the corner to try and get away. I have taken her out and put her in a dog crate in the barn till I figure out the next step. They pick on her when they are out in the yard also. Will this ever stop or do I need to build a seperate coop for her? I feel so bad for her and don't know what to do. She won first place so she is more special to us now than the others!!!
  2. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Songster 10 Years

    May 25, 2008
    Ideas: Put some obstacles in the coop she can hide behind, jump onto and run around while evading attacks from the other chickens. ***Always be sure no blocked-off or dead-end areas are created where chickens could get cornered.*** Sacks of feed, buckets, additional perches, trash cans, etc. can be useful. Window frames (with either glass or wire in the middle) leaned against things can also be excellent for a flee-er to run behind and be protected yet be able to keep track of aggressor's travels. Lower-ranking chickens also appreciate shadowy, cluttered areas where they can hang out and not be noticed as much.
    There's also a hobbling technique that gets roosters to quit bullying--Don't know if it would work well on hens, but here it is:
    If the "mean-ness" is a rooster problem toward roosters, you can use tape or something to hobble his lower legs together with just enough length that he can walk but not jump up & spur or run really fast. When you put him down, the other chickens sense he is handicapped and generally dive at him (**You MUST stay there to supervise and make sure things don't get TOO rough on him**). Less than a minute of this may get a rooster humbled enough that he never bullies again.
    I'm not sure how this would work with correcting aggression toward hens. I imagine you'd be likely to need more than 1 min of hobbling because they'd probably not be as driven to attack him??? I would DEFINITELY separate the other roo while putting the hobbled roo with the hens--otherwise the other roo would take the opportunity to attack him & the hens wouldn't even be part of the interaction.
    It can take rooster that was hobbled 2-3 weeks to feel confident enough to hang out comfortably with the others again.
    BE CAREFUL WITH THIS TECHNIQUE! Even a little too much time at other chickens' mercy can be very detrimental to thrashee's self-confidence. I think it would be better to do too short of a hobbling session, if in doubt, and then do a second session if needed a couple weeks later.
    Hope things work out well quickly [​IMG] This kind of dynamic is hard to watch but usually fades--sometimes more quickly than other times.
  3. babyboy1_mom

    babyboy1_mom Songster

    Apr 13, 2008
    Did you try putting her back into the coop when it was dark outside? When I have to put a hen back into the coop, after breaking a broody spell, then I have to make sure that it is completely dark outside. No moon and no light at all.

    I take a flashlight outside with me to catch the ex-broody hen and then turn it off just before I return her to the coop. Then I almost break my neck trying to get away from the coop and turn the flashlight back on, but not cast any light into the coop and the "returned/new" hen in the hen house...lol

    Good luck.

  4. angelkisses

    angelkisses Hatching

    May 18, 2008
    yes It was dark when we returned with her. We just sat her on her perch and things were ok till last night when they went to perch for the night. Today it has just progressed to much worse. I will try to give her some stuff to hide behind and see if that works. I just hate it that they are treating her like this because they were all perfect before fair.

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