I need advice on my chickens ganging up on another chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nakactress, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. nakactress

    nakactress In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2008
    I have 4 chickens who are about 1.5 years old and I have 5 chicks who are getting close to laying age.
    All 9 of them have seen each other all summer and I finally put them together last week. My older chickens still terrorize the younger ones but each day they mingle more and more.

    Well the day before yesterday I noticed my young leghorn had a serious pecking wound on her back. The other chickens were going after the wound every chance they got. I brought her in, wash her up and put neosporin(sp) and kept her inside in a box. This morning the blood was gone and I felt it was safe to put her back with the other chickens.

    Holy COW!! All other 8 chickens started attacking her. They pecked everywhere and drew blood on her head. I don't know what to do?
    Right now she's hanging out on my back porch. Not wandering, just hanging out. I got her some food and water out there and gave her a treat of raw egg.

    She's my favorite chicken. I was told she was a leghorn but her personality doesn't fit and she's not like my older leghorn. She looks like a leghorn and is quick and skittish at times but she is super friendly and loves to be on my shoulder.

    I don't know what to do with her. I tried again this afternoon to put her back but again she was attacked by all the others.

    Interesting how today my younger chickens are side by side and seem on good terms with my older chickens. It seemed to have happened once they started to gang up.

    ETA: They have more then enough room and run. We often let them roam our yard too. The space they are in can fit a good 15-20 chickens
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  2. Hen Daddy

    Hen Daddy In the Brooder

    Aug 20, 2008
    Vancouver, WA
    From what I have read on here its best to keep her away from the others. If she is smaller than the others best bet is to keep her seperate until she is as big as the others.
    If that doesnt work then she will probably have to be kept away from the others probably on a permanent basis.
    If it was one hen/rooster being a bully then you could seperate the agressive one. Doesnt look like thats the case here.
    I am certainly not an expert and maybe someone might have a better idea.
  3. nakactress

    nakactress In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2008
    She's actually about the same size as the others and we don't have any roosters. I'm thinking I have to figure some temp area next to the coop until they decide to get along. It makes me a bit sad to see ALL of them do this to her.
  4. I'd get some Blue Kote spray & put that onto her back. In addition, I'd keep her separated for at least a few weeks until it heals up. The others will see that wound & go for it every time, otherwise. How big of a run do they have? Maybe you've got too many chickens in too small of a space?
  5. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap

    It's unfortunate that our lovely ladies have such instincts. If they don't like her they will probably pick on her forever. Poor birdie! Make her your pet, she's probably up to the job.
  6. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    I had this happen and we have a happy ending.

    I had introduced my 6 3-month-old EEs to the pen with my 4 adult hens. My RIR ripped one of my EEs from the top of her head to the base of her neck, I thought sure she was going to die. I moved all the EEs out. Then, I treated her wound and put her in a dog crate right next to the other chickens. She healed beautifully and even grew most of her feathers back. It took about 6 weeks, but I didn't want to put her back in the pen until the scab had fallen off, I didn't want a repeat attack. All that time, she was within sight of her hatchmates. Then I moved her into the pen, still in her crate. After a few more days, I opened the door and she mingled with the other chickens like she'd never left.

    I kept the adults hen in a different pen. Well, I rehomed 2 of them and didn't want to maintain a separate pen for 2 hens, so I tossed them in with the young ones (including the RIR that savaged her). Now the young ones are 5 months and bigger and I have a big rooster in the pen and he keeps the peace. He breaks up any sqabbles among the girls.

    In your case, I'd keep her separate until she was completely healed, but keep her in sight of her mates, so they don't forget her while she heals. Are you allowed to keep a rooster? Mine does a great job keeping the girls from picking on each other and he watches out for predators and everything.

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