hen being seriously picked on .... input very much appreciated

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by msnmax, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. msnmax

    msnmax New Egg

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    Feb 14, 2015
    I recently took this hen because her own flock was almost beating he to death.. and I have one hen who I adopted and was obviously treated like a pet prior to my getting her. so Basically I had to keep the adopted chicken in a pen in the basement after the first snow realizing she was gate standing waiting for me to come back at night instead of heading to the hen house with the rest. So I though Great Rain needs a friend and my other 4 usually pick on her so this would be awesome if she had her own buddy.. Not so much.. I've kept them separated for weeks now. waiting #1 for the new one to heal up and #2 rain to get use to her.. this morning even though Rain is in a large dog kennel and Jen is in the bigger pen ( dog kennel inside the pen) Rain got her.. and when I let them out together Rain immediately goes after Jen... Jen Seems healthy... But Very timid she just puts her head down and takes it? Jen seems to want to be near rain but Rain is being just as mean as Jens original flock?? I'm wondering Could it be the size or her cone? or could she be deaf? I'm just not getting it? also is there something I can do to protect Jens head? and stop Rain from going after her head?? I've had chickens for many years But I've never seen anything like this? I understand the pecking order .. But never had it be this bad.. this is why I'm wondering because it's her cone Rain and the other flock kept going after.. could this be the issue?
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    The size or the shape of a hens' comb is not likely to have much influence on her acceptance into a flock. The hen who is acting passive in my humble opinion wishes to assimilate. Unfortunately she must do so under the rules of the pecking order. In other words she must exhibit sufficient passiveness or else beat the crap out of her antagonist.

    Among other things the pecking order regulates how closely one hen can approach another, which hen has first choice at the feeder, the dust bathing bowl, and who gets the plum roosting places but most of all which hen must give way when hens approach each other.

    However in my experience if there is ONE hen in a flock who (in a hens' eye) is radically different from the rest of the flock, then every hen that is in that flock MAY take an active dislike of that one particular hen. Also in my experience a rooster may do most of a hens' heavy fighting for her as long as said hen is sexually receptive or submissive towards the rooster. If the rooster is old enough he should act like the old adage says and "Rule the roost." I am curious if most of those reporting pecking order issues have an adult rooster among their flock. An adult rooster should ideally be over 24 months old for him to effectively "rule the roost."

    Also crested, muffed, or other hens who are visually impaired or loose feathered seem to have more problems with the pecking order that hens who can see trouble coming ahead of time.
     
  3. msnmax

    msnmax New Egg

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    sadly she came from a flock of 12 hens all hatched togeather... So I'm not sure what the issue was there... Here she's only with 1 other hen..
    and that hen is beating on her.. I do not have any roos.. as my neighbor complained about the one and only that we had.. so you think it may be her sight? I've never had an issue like this where eventually a hen introduced wasn't eventually excepted. rain I believe is a new Hampshire red and Jen I believe is a leg horn.. I have a guinea attached to an arracauna?? she seems to see fine?? just basically lays down.. and lets rain beat on her.
     
  4. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is she the only white bird? It may be what chickengeorgeto said about "different". I would also check her for low vision or blindness. If you can bring your finger from behind the chicken's head and touch her eye (she doesn't move away) then that eye is blind. See how accurate she is picking up pieces of food spread out a little. Does she miss? Drop or hold treats 20 feet away from her.Does she come over or not appear to notice?
     
  5. msnmax

    msnmax New Egg

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    yes she is the only white bird.. but theres only her and rain.. the other 4 hens are outside in the coop and havn't even met her yet.. as for her last flock I believe they were all leghorns I will check her vision in the morning.. I can see rain is quiet agitated right now because Jens cone keeps bleeding.. from where rain got her this morning.. but Rains completely out of the pen and in the large dog kennel just outside the pen... I'm thinking this may always be a lone bird?? but still anything anyone can suggest or can think of please feel free.. except to put her in a pot.. because My hens are pets, not food...
     
  6. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok, first, get the bleeding stopped. Ckickens LOVE blood and will pursue it relentlessly. Use styptic powder, flour, something. Rooster Booster no pick cover up lotion works good but not permanent solution obviously. Betadine can be used for now. If she is blind it may be time for the pot or, some people accept special needs animals including chickens. You could also try a hen saddle- maybe camo colored to give her some protection and make her appear less white to the other birds. Just trying to think up ideas....
     
  7. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    While you can intervene put her into the pen with only the other 4 birds. You may also try and mark up the bird you call rain with some shoe polish in order to change rain's appearance. Don't scrimp on the shoe polish.

    While a battle royal may erupt between rain and your other 4 birds this also could give the leghorn hen a little respite because rain may be too busy pecking your other 4 birds who rain likely sees as a greater threat to her place atop the pecking order to bother with the leghorn.

    Whether any of this helps or not PM me with the results.

    Finally I would never cull a hen who is atop of the pecking order. She is in that favored spot because of her good qualities as a chicken. As much as it would pain me to do so the hen who MAY need culling the most is the leghorn. Poor health is one reason hens are at the bottom of the pecking order, not overly aggressive hens above them pushing them ever lower.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015
  8. msnmax

    msnmax New Egg

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    Her Bleeding has stopped.. all though she looks a fright ( Poor girl) ... Being a white hen.. I may try to bathe her but not today as I don't want to upset the clot ting on her cone.. I did check her eye site I don't believe she's blind.. because she'd blink when I wiggled my finger in front of her.. and to the sides.. But I'd say her sight may not be the greatest.. I don't need anyone to take her.. I'll just keep her separated from the rest.. I'll be hitting the feed store today to see if they have anything like a helmet???
     
  9. msnmax

    msnmax New Egg

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    if I put Rain out with the other 4 she'll get beaten up... Rain is the nh red... Jen is the leg horn.. I had been switching them back and forth between dog cage and pen putting the cage in the pen.. as I've done many times when I've gotten new birds.. I'll put Jen back in the dog cage if you think this may help.. But I've had Jen for over a month now and my usually way of introducing Just isn't working.. I live in New Hampshire putting Rain out in the pen with the other 4 isn't an option right now with 5' of snow... my other 4 aren't even coming out of their coop at all and I'm absolutely sure they wont let Rain in either..
    Rain isn't the most dominant Hen.. when out with the others she gets chased around and picked on.. actually a smaller RI red is the boss??? Rain was actually in the dog crate when she somehow Got Jen? weather Jen was trying to get close to her for warmth... I don't know? I will swap them out today as I think Jen need to be confined for alittle while so she can completely heal..
    as I said earlier I'm heading to the feed store today I'll see if they have this so called saddle thing... if not I'll pick up shoe polish... Thank you all.. No pot for her and She is still one of my pets sick or not ... She'll just have to live alone.. I have a nice barn and I'm sure the horses wont mind her in there once this weather breaks.. :)
     
  10. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I'm glad she's not for the pot! I know I mentioned it in response to your post but I can't eat my pets either. You can order hen saddles/ aprons on line. I had a chicken who was blind in one eye. I always made a special effort for her, flock mates never picked on her and she was a tiny bantam in with huge production birds. (there were several bantams in the flock). Although I eat and sell my eggs, my birds are pets. All my hens are allowed a pension plan for their years of service. [​IMG] I hope shoe polish helps her fit in until you can get a saddle. [​IMG] Give us an update sometime!
     

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