hens pecking on hen!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by debhollis, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. debhollis

    debhollis Hatching

    Jul 25, 2013
    We have flock of hens, some 3 yrs. old, and some 2 yrs. old. One of the hens has been lame for a long, long time, and kinda "hops" around to get from place to place. There has been absolutely no problem from the other girls until this week. Several of them have been ganging up on her and pecking her.. Should I separate her from them for a period of time, or what is suggested for the problem? There was rooster in the gang until about 2 1/2 months ago, but he's now gone. There are 12 hens, who have never disagreed on anything. Please give me advice!
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Honestlly, you will probably have to separate her for life, since her problem is apparently permanent and they have now chosen her as a target. For many of our members, it would be chicken soup time. If that is not an option for you, I would start setting up a separate place for her. She will probably be happier if she is still next to the others, on the other side of chicken wire..
  3. krista74

    krista74 Songster

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Hi, and [​IMG]

    I would try and separate her from the rest of the flock temporarily, but in doing so try to (1) Give her plenty of space to move (2) Keep her in sight of the rest of the flock - separation by a wire mesh fence is good and (3) If possible, put a friend in there with her who is not aggressive so she's not totally alone.

    Once you've separated her, check her over well for any injures. If one hen has cuts or blood on her the others can be quite cruel. Chickens are opportunistic and will attack anything that's different, and it may be that she has some other injury you are not aware of. Treat anything you find accordingly.

    In the mean time, after a couple of days of rest, relaxation and recovery, I'd think about reintroducing the two of them back into the flock. Provide lots of distractions - frozen fruit, a new tree branch to hide in, a hanging head of cabbage etc - to keep the other birds occupied and encourage them to leave her alone as she settles back in.

    I'm no chicken expert but that's what I would try anyway. I wish you all the best!

    - Krista
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK

    I have a young pullet, Hopsy who is like this, although the problem was more that she lost confidence and would hide in the nest box from them rather than that thy were picking on her. She has been lame as a result of Marek's disease for the past 4 months and is bright as a button apart from her lameness. I keep her in a brooder box in the hen house and she has been very happy in there as she can still see the others but feels, not only safe but from her attitude, I believe rather privileged, like the queen in her palace and I am her humble servant. A few weeks ago I had another pullet develop quite severe paralysis with Marek's and she too has been placed in the sick bay with Hopsy. After initial aggression by the new inmate, the 2 of them are now palled up a treat and are best buddies. The newer one's condition has improved enormously in the past few days and I have even been able to put them out in the sunshine a few times recently and because they now have each other, their confidence is higher and they are not intimidated by the rest of the flock. My flock is free range though so the others have plenty of space and things to keep them occupied, rather than picking on the invalids.
    I appreciate you don't have another poorly chicken to pall her up with but perhaps a lower pecking order, docile hen would work if you can rig something like my set up.

    My sick bay/brooder is actually an old sideboard with the drawers taken out (I use one of the drawers as a sick bay nest and the others as nest boxes and I made a mesh cover to replace them. I cut large holes out of the double doors in the middle and covered them with perspex, so that plenty of light gets in. It works brilliantly for both sick and broody purposes and I can partition it up, so that I can have 2 broodies in it at once. Alternatively you could perhaps build/obtain a small hen ark and place it either in the run or next to the run for the lame girl so that she has her own quarters but can see the others.

    Anyway, I hope this post has given you a few ideas and good luck finding a solution that works for you and your little hen.



    PS. Expect some teething troubles with whatever you set up and be prepared to tweek things to make it work.
  5. N F C

    N F C no time like snow time

    Dec 12, 2013
    We have the same situation for one of our RIR girls. Her limpy leg is a permanent condition and every time we tried to re-introduce her to the flock, she was an instant target. She now lives next door to the flock's run in her own little coop/run with wire separating her from the rest. They can all see each other but she isn't bullied any more. This has worked out well for her and us.

    P.S. We got a Polish chick as a freebee from a hatchery who was being bullied by the other non-Polish chicks. We thought maybe she would be good company for our RIR but that little chick scared the bejeesus out of our big RIR girl! She was terrified at having another bird (even a small one) in the same enclosure.
  6. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

    May 24, 2014
    BYC? Epic <3
    My Coop
    [​IMG]Welocme to BYC!!! It is an aweosme forum (the BEST in the world) and has a great comminity!!! Hopr you have a great time and learn A LOT!
  7. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] I'm glad you joined our "flock!"
  8. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us!
  9. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]I'm glad you joined our community.
  10. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!

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