Hen being severely abused by other hens.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by canadian flock, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. canadian flock

    canadian flock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 3, 2013
    St. George ON
    Hey, I have a full grown hen who had an earlier health issue. She recovered but was very weak. As a result, she was quickly demoted to the bottom of the pecking order and was being picked on all the time. I put her with my 13 week old chicks who are in a separated part of the coop for a "sleepover". Everything was fine but then she started getting edgy with my new girls. I put her back in with her original flock. I was putting them all in for the night when there was squabbling. I ran in to see all of her same breed surrounding her with 2 on top pecking her head with the rest in a circle around her ( also pecking). I have separated her and her head was bleeding pretty badly. I have put her back with my younger chickens after cleaning her up but don't know how proceed from here. Any ideas?
     
  2. Araucana16

    Araucana16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well... I don't have specific ideas, but as a general idea, they don't see her as even a part of the flock sounds like. Or at the best, they think that the new hen needs to be put in her place. Obviously they are putting way too much... power... into it.

    Think of it this way. If they were attacking you because you came back to the flock after a long time, what would you do? Drive them away? Hurt them? Set them in their place like an unruly rooster?

    Just something to think about. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
     
  3. Araucana16

    Araucana16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1 person likes this.
  4. canadian flock

    canadian flock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 3, 2013
    St. George ON
    I'll look into it in the morning, thank you
     
  5. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    How long was she separated from her flock? It sounds like it was for an extended time. I think there are 2 options. You can keep her in with your younger birds until it is time to introduce them to your flock. She will be noticed less, and hopefully targeted less, if integrated in with a group of new birds. The other option is once she is healed to put her in a dog crate/fenced off area in your coop for a few days. That way they can see her, but can't do any damage. Once the time period is up let her loose and remain to see what happens. There may be some scuffling and posturing but it *should* calm down quickly.
     
  6. canadian flock

    canadian flock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 3, 2013
    St. George ON
    she was with the chicks for about 3 days. She has been weakened for about 2 months and is showing slow recovery. Her legs are weak and can't run without tripping so I don't think I can re-integrate anytime soon. The other hens are still trying to peck her through the fence so I think they would be recognized as soon as she is in there. Should I keep her isolated in another place that's out of sight until she can hold her own and put her in as a "new" chicken?
     
  7. canadian flock

    canadian flock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 3, 2013
    St. George ON
    On the page it says,
    The pecking order may also extend sideways, with a previously untouched bird being attacked if, for example, it becomes ill
    This sounds like what is happening. It doesn't explain how to solve it but it would probably be along the lines of her recovering would solve it. Thanks for the link, I can also use it for integrating my chicks.
     
  8. Janet Pesaturo

    Janet Pesaturo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would definitely keep her away from the flock that's bullying her until she's completely better, then integrate her as a new chicken. She might manage it better if she is fully recovered, and the flock might handle it better if reintroduction is very gradual. From what you describe, I think they will kill her if you try to integrate her now.
     
  9. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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  10. Araucana16

    Araucana16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wish! I just LOVE England, but sadly don't live there. Lucky!
     

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