Hen getting picked on

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AdiosCowboy, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. AdiosCowboy

    AdiosCowboy In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2008
    I have had three hens for two and a half years now. They get along fine and have plenty of room; in short, I have never had a problem from them. About two months ago, however, a feral/stray rooster started coming around my yard and preening for the hens. It didn't cause any trouble immediately, but today two of my hens started pecking on and pulling out the feathers of the third! I don't know if the rooster being around has anything to do with it, but it is the only new(-ish) factor I can think of.

    I have my poor attacked hen in a separate pen for now, away from the other chickens, but I can't leave her alone there forever. What is the problem and how can I fix it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. tennesseeckn

    tennesseeckn Real or not real?

    Jul 11, 2010
    Knoxville Area
    I had a hen injure a wing and when I reintroduced her one of the lower hens decided to go for blood. I have the bully separate right now but went to Tractor Supply and bought Blu-Kote and Pine Tar based on suggestions I read on this forum to try to put them all in together again. I'll let you know how it goes.

    OH! I've also read to separate the bully for a week to bring them down the pecking order. I didn't think this would work for me since this was a lowly hen to begin with. PLUS I didn't want to have to do the whole re-introduction-thing again.
  3. Grand R Morgans

    Grand R Morgans Hatching

    Jan 1, 2011
    I also have a hen being picked on. We used Blu-Kote and ended up separating her for now so she can heal up and grow feathers back in. Do you know how long we have to wait to eat eggs from a hen sprayed with Blu-Kote?
  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I've never heard of Blu-kote affecting the eggs. I use it for injuries and never even gave a thought about the eggs. There's no warning on the bottle.

    I have a perennial victim. She's always getting picked on, since right from the beginning almost three years ago. Her latest injury was to her comb just yesterday. I have no clue why they pick on her, but maybe they can't stand her constant, hoarse squawking. I can barely tolerate it myself.

    However, some picking can be due to protein deficiency. I have tiny pullet that I recently observed aggressively plucking feathers from her former brooder mate. I immediately started feeding her about an ounce of tuna every other day. Very quickly I saw improvement, and it's been a week now that I haven't seen her pluck any feathers.

    Putting Blu-kote on the bleeding wounds will cut down the attraction of picking the wound further, but you might try the tuna thing for a few weeks and see if it helps. Can't hurt, and they'll love it.
  5. AdiosCowboy

    AdiosCowboy In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2008
    Thanks for your comments. I let all three out into the yard today while I supervised and began noticing that even though two of the hens (a Wyandotte and an EE) were picking on the third (a cochin), when it was just the EE and the Cochin nobody got pecked. It seems that my Wyandotte (already the queen of the coop) is the one causing all of the trouble. So for now I have her in isolation while the other two are sharing the coop in peace and the rooster is getting chased off everytime he gets within a rifle's sight of the coop.. I'm giving them all extra protein snacks and letting them have run of the front yard for more space every morning. Hopefully this will work out and nobody will have to go in the roaster.

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