Injured hen getting picked on by other hens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Hasbeth, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Hasbeth

    Hasbeth Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2013
    NSW, Australia
    So this morning my family and I woke up to one of our hens sitting on the ground, and when we walked towards her she got up and was limping.

    As the day went on, she seemed to get better, she was able to walk without falling, despite still having the tiniest limp. However I think by the time she recovered, the damage was already done, she'd slipped down to the bottom of the pecking order.

    I noticed my other three hens picking on her, just pecking at the face (and she flinches) and chasing her away when she gets too near, and when I went to lock them up, I found she was facing away from her peers with her head tucked under her wing (she also "went to bed" fairly early, it was still quite light out). I also noticed one of the other hens (The Boss, I'm assuming - by no way is she the largest but she's the meanest) climbing onto her roost close to her.

    It's probably way too early to tell, but is this something I should be worried about? The injured hen seems to be recovered now (I'm guessing she jumped from somewhere and hurt herself) but the other hens seem to be establishing her place as the low hen.

    I've heard cases of hens severely attacking an injured member of their flock to the point of death, is this really something I should be worried about? I intend to observe this further (I'm also worried about her wellbeing tomorrow - no one will be at home for most of the day) but if there any advice I should hear?

    (Not sure if it's relevant, but I think they've all been beak-trimmed. We rescued them from an egg farm in March so the previous owners had them beak trimmed)

    Thanks! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    If she still is limping tomorrow, I might put her in a cage in the coop or run where the others can still see her. Feed her vitamins (especially B vitamins) for a week or two in her food or water. If she is better in a day or two, then let her out. Other chickens will always pick on a weaker chicken.
     
  3. Hasbeth

    Hasbeth Out Of The Brooder

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    0
    22
    Aug 19, 2013
    NSW, Australia
    I think she's fairly okay, she only had a slight limp when walking faster. If it continues I'll definitely take your advice.

    I'm just afraid that the "bullying" will go down a violent route, but hopefully it'll stop once the hierarchy is re-established.

    Thanks for your reply!
     

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