Hens gang up on one hen-advice please?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MomAtHome08, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. MomAtHome08

    MomAtHome08 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi,
    We have some 5 California Rocks/random whites and 4 Red Sexlinks. Well the reds seem to gang up on one white hen, to the point of pecking her bloody. She sits in a corner. We have separated her twice [she is currently separated now] and I am applying triple antibiotic cream to her wounds. Otherwise, she is very friendly although rather ticked off.
    What can I do to prevent this in the future? We are honestly just thinking of giving away the reds [even though they are fantastic layers] and getting some new chicks and starting from 'scratch.'
    Any comments would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks,
    Brenda
     
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Watch them closely when she's with them. One of those chickens is starting it and the rest are joining in. THAT is the one that needs to be isolated rather than the pecked-on one. If you aren't sure, pull out one, watch, repeat. In the meantime, something like BluKote will keep them from pecking where she already is wounded.
     
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    I agree, remove the ringleader for about a week. That should shake up the pecking order.
    I've had Red Stars, great layers but they can be aggressive (from my experience.) I had one that would start fights in an otherwise peaceful group of birds...until she tried picking on my top of the pecking order Barred Rocks, got her butt beat down. She deserved it. I ended up taking her to the feed store to be adopted out. I wont own Red Stars again. I've found that Black Stars are more friendly, are excellent layers and fit in well with other birds. Others have had bad experiences with Black Stars like Red Stars, but not me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  4. MomAtHome08

    MomAtHome08 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2009
    Northern IL [WI border]
    Thank you both for the excellent advice. I will do that, observe to see who starts it and get some BlueKote for my wounded hen.
     
  5. carolinasculpture

    carolinasculpture Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! While building our coop/run, our chickens were in a smaller space than we had intended (cart before horse syndrome). They all picked on one hen to where she was missing most of the feathers on her shoulders. They didn't pick her until bloody, but did peck her each time she went by. Anyway, long story shorter...when we got them into the bigger run all problems were solved and she she looks great today! Maybe some more space or more places to hide? Good luck!
     
  6. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Great suggestion. Picking happens really frequently when they really don't have enough space.
     
  7. MomAtHome08

    MomAtHome08 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2009
    Northern IL [WI border]
    Just to follow up, but I did Bluekote the pecked one, and she is doing well but she is still quarantined because every time I put her in the pen with the others, the 4 Reds wait a few minutes and then literally JUMP her, pecking and squawking, on her back, etc. I have to jump in like a crazy person and shoo everyone away to pull her out. So, I think the Reds need to go. Incidentally, another white hen just died last week but looked perfectly normal up until her death.
    Oh, and yes I double-checked the size and they are fine in that regard, with plenty of hiding and roosting spots.
    Thanks everyone!
     
  8. MomAtHome08

    MomAtHome08 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2009
    Northern IL [WI border]
    Update April 7-Bluey [as we have now named the victim] roams freely right now, outside of the hen house while her attackers, the 4 Reds, remain inside. I plan on getting rid of them as soon as I can get some chicks but I never make it to Farm and Fleet early enough! She is very docile, and definitely on the mend. Too bad chickens poop at random, or I would bring her in the house. She is better than a cat!
     

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