how much harm does it cause to segregate a hen from her flock for almost a month?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aldarita, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2012
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    I have to segregate one of my hens from the rest of the flock because she is recuperating from an illness. I just happened to finish a growing pen so I moved her there. She is by herself and that worries me a bit because I know chickens are social animals and need company. I cannot add another hen to the pen because she is taking antibiotics in the water and I don't want the other hen to drink from it. She will have to be isolated for 21 days to finish the antibiotic course. Since I am new with chickens I would like to know how much harm does it cause a chicken to be separated for so many days. I know she will have to go thru hell when I put her back with the others to reestablish her position in the pecking order. Anything I could do to help the situation? Any help will be appreciated.
     
  2. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had to segregate a hen before due to a ripped back. I tried to re-introduce her and after a few days, she got pecked and I had to take her out again. I let her recoup in a pen right next to the other birds for a couple of months. Then, I let them free range together for a little bit each day for a few days, then gave them snacks to distract them when I put her back in the main pen. My advice, plan to spend a bit of time each day keeping them friendly.
     
  3. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been thinking about letting her spend some time with the rest of the flock, my problem is that she is not easy to catch and I don't want to let her stay too much time away from her pen since she is supposed to be drinking her water with the antibiotic in it all day long. Maybe just one hour will be enough for the flock to remember her but then how can I catch he to take her back to her new pen?
     
  4. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Goldfinches, I will follow your advice. I already knew that it was a bad idea to just turn her back at once so I will reintroduce her little by little and watch the interaction for a while. She used to be my alpha hen but has lost her position since she got sick and the other hens can be brutal.
     
  5. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How's she doing?
     
  6. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2012
    Brenham TX
    She is still taking the antibiotic in her water, tomorrow will be the last day. I am planning to start the reintroduction on Wednesday when the weather is not so bad. She is going thru a molt and is not feeling very good, her appetite is poor so she is not eating very much, I am concerned that she won't be very strong but I really want her to get to her normal life soon. We shall see, wish me luck!
     
  7. C-M-D

    C-M-D New Egg

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    I'm having a similar issue... I had to separate a hen from her flock of three others (all 21 months old, together since chicks) for two weeks to recover from a leg injury. She is fine now, but I'm having difficulty reintroducing her. The flock got along fine for the first year or so, but then an alpha hen emerged and she started attacking the injured one more and more viciously. It's at a point now where the alpha hen will attack on sight, right in front of me. When she does this I seize her and "peck" her back, but it makes no difference and I cannot imagine this behavior suddenly changing. The alpha hen appears jealous when I pay attention to the others, so maybe me showing her that I'm the boss is making things worse. The other two also attack the injured hen, but their attacks are not serious. The three "mean girls" get along with one another. Reintroduction of the injured hen is hampered by sub-freezing weather - snow, so there isn't much bare ground for free-ranging, and single digit temps at night, so the coop has an infrared lamp and it's not dark enough to slip the injured hen in without the others seeing her. It's too cold to leave the injured hen outside during the day in a cage. She never fights back, so rehoming her is not an option as she'll just get bullied elsewhere. I'm considering separating out the alpha hen while I try to reintroduce the injured hen. And maybe I should get rid of the alpha hen. Any advice?
     
  8. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good! I took my girl back out while she was still recovering and it worked out perfect. Let us know how it turns out.
     
  9. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe you could separate the alpha hen since she's so much of a bully. Then, when she's re-introduced, she'll be low in the pecking order and maybe she'll be nicer?
     
  10. C-M-D

    C-M-D New Egg

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    Currently separated, and the injured hen has been reintroduced. She had a hard time and looks depressed but she's basically OK and is hanging in there. Another hen has seized the opportunity to become alpha. I'm hoping this will keep the bully busy. How and when do you suggest reintroducing her?
     

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