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Hens are picking on the runt...What do I do?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by acarter26, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. acarter26

    acarter26 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2011
    Baldwinsville
    My BF and I have 11 RIR and 4 white leghorn hens, all about 15 weeks old. 1 of the RIR hens is a runt. She was hatched with the other RIR hens and was with them 24/7 up until about a month ago. I'm from NY and we had a heat wave and as a result, Peanut, the runt, became extremely dehydrated and we almost lost her. After a week indoors, she was hydrated and looking good so we decided to put her back in with the other girls. Shortly after, my BF noticed that Peanut wasn't acting herself and, long story short, she ended up having an infected crop. Again, we brought her inside and after a week of antibiotics and another week to recover, we tried to put her back in the group. As soon as we put her in the group, 1 RIR hen started chasing her. Then more of the others started as well and eventually, no matter where she went, a hen was chasing her. I know about the whole pecking order thing, but to that extreme? Does anyone know of anything that myself or my BF can do to help get her back in with the other girls? We don't want to keep her separated but we also don't want her being chased to the point of exhaustion and then end up getting sick again!
     
  2. chicken grandma

    chicken grandma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 1, 2008
    west michigan
    We have had 10 chickens over 11 years and we have had to separate some at times. Usually we take the runt and put a kind bird or two with it. Then they make their own flock. Then you can try putting the two groups back together. Or keep two groups. Many of us who have had bantams, larger birds ect.. need two groups of hens. Do take the pecking seriously. I recently saw one hen at another farm whose eye had been blinded by her flock. God bless!
     
  3. acarter26

    acarter26 Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Jun 16, 2011
    Baldwinsville
    Right now she is with a group of 4 silkies who we tried to bring into the group and, as with Peanut, got bullied by the other girls. Peanut is doing well with the silkies but we would prefer to have her in the big group. Thanks for your input! [​IMG]
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I agree - try her with one of the milder birds from your flock for a few days. Then add another milder mannered bird...or two if it goes fairly well. Once she has a few buddies, try integrating her again.
    If that doesn't work, then sadly, you may have to rehome her with someone who just has a few mild mannered birds. But I hope this works [​IMG]
     

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