Hens being pecked at by another hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pitsko, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. pitsko

    pitsko Just Hatched

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    Oct 17, 2012
    Ringtown, PA
    I hope someone can help me out here.....I came home from work two days ago and found one of my RIR hens pecked and bleeding below her vent. I did notice most of my RIR hens were getting bald spots on their bottoms. I separated her yesterday until I could find out what was going on. Today I came home to three other RIR hens pecked and bleeding in the same place we gathered them up and gave them a spray of blue kote, as soon as I let them back out immediatley one of my BR came up and started to peck at them again......I have the BR separated now into a crate. Wondering what my options are if I need to cull her if I see no more pecking with her separated. We are new to chickens and only have our flock since September any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Mehjr10

    Mehjr10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep here separated from the rest for a couple of weeks see if the problem is solved.. If so reintroduce her this may put her lower in the pecking order. If she goes back to her offensive ways, you can look into some peepers or off to freezer camp.
     
  3. pitsko

    pitsko Just Hatched

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    Oct 17, 2012
    Ringtown, PA
    My husband was watching them and said one of the RIR's was also doing some pecking as well. I have a pit in my stomach about these chickens, I can't stand to come home to them all bloodied up and I know they will keep at eachother....
     
  4. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you live in a cold environment? Chickens get bored and when cooped up they will take it out on each other. Mine get along great when out free all day, but winter is different. A small coop can be a huge problem if they have to stay in a lot. Try to give them something to do like a half head of cabbage, lettue for them to peck at. Throw feed into the litter for them to scratch for. I put clumps of hay in my coop on winter days for them to kick around and eat, they really like it and it keeps them busy and you can throw seeds, feed into the hay too. Put separate roosting areas in you coop, give the weak ones some place to hide like a shelf to jump up on. Also, the bullies will stop the weaker ones from getting to food and water. I set up two feed stations and give the weaker ones food directly, esp. in the winter, they need to eat to stay warm. I find in really cold temps they don't eat much and you have to kind of stimulate their appitite. Also, remove/separate a hen asap if she has blood on her because they go after red so even a non aggressive hen will peck at a blood spot, they just can't help it. And like the last person siad, separate the bully to shake up the pecking order. Hens are a lot of fun, but a lot of work too, esp. in the winter. Try not to cull yet, it could be that you are not thinking like a chicken and these are chickens after all. Good luck
     
  5. pitsko

    pitsko Just Hatched

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    Oct 17, 2012
    Ringtown, PA
    Thanks Tammy....Yes it is cold where we are in PA and we just have a week of around 0 degree weather. They have been choosing to stay inside the coop more esp if it's windy. we got them in september at about 6 months old and have have had no problems up until now. it started as feather plucking and now its actual wounds we have 5 injured with blue kote butts as of this evening. I do think the offender is the one i have separated so i hope it works out. we have 10 hens with an 8x4 coop and an 8x4 and 12x6 attached runs plus they free range when i get home from work, we give them cabbage almost everyday when i go to work which a whole head lasts about 15 minutes lol, hot oatmeal in the mornng and lettuce too..........I am just so upset and love these girls and don't want to see them huring eachother. i do understand tho that this is their nature and they cant help it
     
  6. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2010
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    here is the other part of a feather plucking problem. When the new feathers try to grow back they look different, so the hens will peck at and remove the new feathers trying to grow back. Using the blue kote will help, they don't seem to notice the bare skin as much when covered with blue kote. You may want to try peepers too, they are like eye blinders It may help to break the habit. There is a lot of info here that says feather plucking and eating the feathers can be from low protein in their diet. Most say it is because we give them to many treats, I am sure I give to many. But in the winter I want them to eat, we were at 20-30 below zero last week everynight. Good luck, I had a real problem with feather plucking, the hen with all their feathers is probably the one doing it. In my case the weakest hen was the plucker
     
  7. mychickenbrood

    mychickenbrood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2012
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    Sorry you are having problems. Yes chickens will peck at others sometimes and the suggestions Tammye gave you are great. Cabbage will take them longer to eat than lettuce I would think. There are a few substances out there that you can try to stop the pecking. Your local feed store can help you.

    There are also chicken saddles, even some that fit over the butt, that will protect a chicken while her feathers are growing in. You can Google it and I'm sure find them. Many are quite inexpensive.
    I've heard the ones with snaps are better than the ones with elastic that fits under the wing, but I don't know that for a fact.

    Since they can't get out to graze and scratch, they might really appreciate having some alfalfa hay to eat.

    I love that they get hot oatmeal in the morning! Those are some pampered chickens! Good luck with them.
     
  8. pitsko

    pitsko Just Hatched

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    Oct 17, 2012
    Ringtown, PA
    thanks everyone for your help, I just ordered some peepers for them.....I have the offender "pecker" still separated and have had no bleeding or pecking issues yet today. Its only 12 degrees here today to they are mostly in the coop. I did pick them all up for an inspection 3 times so far today and they are fine. I am goin to look for saddles now. [​IMG]
     

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