Hen being picked on

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lilshadow, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. lilshadow

    lilshadow Songster

    Jan 8, 2008
    Milaca, MN
    Hi All! I am very new to this. I have a hen that is being picked on by the other hen's, and she has hardly any feathers on her poor body. I watched them when I put them in my coop, and the other hen's would peck at her, and pull her feathers out. They even drew blood. I did seperate her from the others, but it gets so cold where I live which is in MN that I put her back in the coop for warmth, but I am getting ready to go get her, and put her in my dog carrier inside my warm garage. I am worried about her. Will they kill her? Can I stop this some way? I really need advice on this. Thanks so much for the advice.
  2. BJ

    BJ Songster

    Mar 20, 2007
    Yes, they will peck her to death, especially if they have already drawn blood. You need to keep her separated until she heals. Can you do that? If not, perhaps someone else on the board would be willing to "rescue" her from you. She must be the lowest in the pecking order and is getting picked on. What breed is she? What are the others?
  3. lilshadow

    lilshadow Songster

    Jan 8, 2008
    Milaca, MN
    I can seperate her, I just feel so bad for her. I have no idea, a got them from a neighbor that didn't want them anymore. I have a habit of saving animals that no one else wants. I can tell you that she is the smallest of the bunch, and that she has light brown feathers with some white mixed in them. They gave me 17 hens and 1 rooster. There are 5 her color, 1 white with a few black feathers, and the rest are black their feathers have a greenish tint to them.
  4. jab91864

    jab91864 Songster

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    Chickens have a pecking order. Low man on the totem pole type thing. They like to remind the ones on the low end they are gonna stay there.

    If they are drawing blood they can and will probably eventually kill her. Maybe she could be more of a pet chicken than a flock chicken .......??

    I have a chicken in the dog carrier in the back bedroom right now... she's broody but she seems content to be in the house. There are folks on here that have house chickens.

    If not that maybe you could get a rabbit hutch for her to live in ...she won't need anything to big for just her.

    Although I'm one of those everybody needs a friend type ppl so I'd probably end up trying to find another down and out chicken to stay with her...

    For now just keep her warm and let her heal up. Some antibiotic ointment, like bag balm will work good for her raw spots.

    Julie [​IMG]
  5. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    Please keep us posted on how she's doing. I hope she recovers once she is separated.
  6. Catalina

    Catalina Songster

    Jul 19, 2007
    I'm worrying about this right now too.
    It's so hard to see one chicken get picked on by the others!
    You want to spank them - Bad Chickens. [​IMG]
    Please update us if you figure out a way to stop them picking on her. [​IMG]
  7. lilshadow

    lilshadow Songster

    Jan 8, 2008
    Milaca, MN
    Thank you so much for all the info you folks have given me. I went right away, and took her from the coop. I put her some nice bedding down in the dog carrier, and she is resting in the garage which is heated. I hope that she does recover, and get some feathers back. I have no idea how long that will take. Even though I just got these fowl today, I have taken a shining to her. I know that is because she is picked on. Again thanks a bunch, and I will keep you all posted on how she is doing.
  8. Charlie Chicken

    Charlie Chicken Songster

    Dec 24, 2007
    Phippsburg, ME
    There are a lot of fun things associated with raising backyard chickens but unfortunately, the pecking order trait isn't one of them. When it reaches the point of feather pulling and the appearance of blood, a bleeding chicken will usually end up being eaten alive. A nasty trait with chickens but one we must live with. The sight of red blood is so attractive to a chicken I have even seen injured birds pick at their own wound.

    I have even gone so far as to avoid feeding red treats to my birds (like red tomatoes, etc.) thinking there might be a chance of encouraging the association of the color red with something good to eat.

    The only solution is to remove the bird that is being picked on from the flock. If a recovery cage, pen or coop is available that can be used effectively. After the woulds are fully healed sometimes the injured bird can be returned to the flock and sometimes not. If an injured bird can't be returned to the flock you might end up with a pet chicken that lives separately from the others but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Good luck.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2008
  9. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    After one of our hens was picked like this, her lower back was bald and raw. i found that giving her AviaCharge 2000 in her water seemed to help the feathers grow back in more quickly. that's anecdotal, though. It may just be that the feathers had a growth spurt that had nothing to do with the AviaCharge. But it's a great, all-natural sort of "tonic" for good health, so it can't hurt!

  10. chickendot

    chickendot In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2008
    Northern Nevada
    I am new to the forum and live in Nevada, We have one white Brahma the picks on one chicken only, the buff, I call her Henny Penny... I would like to just separate the bad hen from the flock. We do let them out during the day to run in the back yard which is close to 1/3 of an acre and they are all fine, but when they are in the pen, the white one will go out of her way to pick on Henny Penny.... My husband wants to put the white one in 'jail', a separate cage within the pen, I thought of maybe just hobbling her so she could stay in the pen but still have a little room to run. My husband wants to keep the pen open as all the hens will go in to lay throughout the day.

    Any suggestions,

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