Hen getting beat on by other hens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by annamichelle, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. annamichelle

    annamichelle Hatching

    Nov 27, 2017
    I have read up and down the pages of this site and others and am still questioning exactly what is happening and how I am supposed to fix it.. or if I need to find the hen being picked on a new home.

    So these hens all grew up together from the get-go. 3 are Barred Rock, and 2 are Ameriucana.. all of them are 8 months old.. all hens...
    as of late one of the Ameriucana has been being bullied really badly. I noticed the other day her feathers looked a little bit thinner than usual but didn't think much of it and then the next day I saw her and a lot of her feathers around her neck and other parts of her body have been pulled off, I took her out and inspected her and she doesn't seem ill... just looks like shes been getting beat up and I didnt notice but the other chickens must have not been letting her eat because she lost weight. Once I separated her from the others I fed her and gave her water and she ate and drank right away, I kept her separate for about 2 days and then out of curiosity put her back in the pen with the others and right when I put her in she was attacked by all of them and she took off into the coop. I quickly separated her again from the rest of the hens.
    Can anyone tell me why they possibly suddenly started doing this to her? Do I need to find her a new home.. or can she eventually go back in the pen with them? and if I do get rid of her will they just pick a new hen to beat up? I'm a first timer with chickens and was appalled over how this randomly started up out of nowhere. They have plenty of room in there pen and are well taken care of.
  2. ChickenGirl555

    ChickenGirl555 Songster

    Oct 22, 2017
    My Coop
    I have my first flock that's only 5 months and not laying yet, so I'm kinda with you except without the fighting part.

    At first I thought molting before you talked about them beating up, and then I remembered that when I had integrated chicks, I locked up the bullies near the flock so THEY were the ones getting seen but not touched. This sped up the integration pretty fast, and maybe it could work with your hens?

    Another theory I have is that they are too crowded or adjusting the pecking order. If the locking up doesn't work and nobody else can help, you sadly maybe have to rehome them, but try many things before doing that unless she starts looking sick even away from the others.

    I wish you much luck, and :welcome
    puffypoo22 likes this.
  3. puffypoo22

    puffypoo22 Crowing

    Oct 3, 2015
    Western Massachussetts
    Don't separate and then put her back in, that will make it worse. You could try separating the bully though.
    Are you sure the other hens are constantly bullying her? And you don't just suspect?
    If so, it's always best to get rid of the problem, instead of the victim.
    nminusyplusm likes this.
  4. ChickenGirl555

    ChickenGirl555 Songster

    Oct 22, 2017
    My Coop
    Oh yeah, get rid of the bully(ies) because otherwise they might attack your next chickens.
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    This is rather a common problem. I am betting what was enough space for the chicks is not enough space for full grown birds. Over crowding causes a lot of problems.

    What are your dimensions of the coop and run? What do you have for hideouts or roosts, platforms in the run or in the coop?

    If the other birds are getting along just fine with the victim pulled out, then I would get cull the victim. If there is still a lot of stress in the coop, you either need to pull more birds out, then pull out the main bully. Usually reducing the number of birds, is what really makes the difference.

    Mrs K
    aart likes this.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop

    Oh, and, Welcome to BYC @annamichelle!

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