Isolate Which Chicken?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cray54, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. cray54

    cray54 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 23, 2008
    Western MA
    We have one hen (out of 4) that has been picked on enough that it is missing feathers, but not bloody. She now stays in the corner away from the other chickens throughout the day, but roosts with them at night.

    I have noticed one particular hen that picks on her. Should I isolate the victimized hen or the victimizing hen? What does isolating do? I’ve read here to wait until she has healed, but I’m not sure if she is hurt enough to need healing.

  2. ChicknThief

    ChicknThief Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2008
    Nor Cal
    I would isolate the instigator. Wait until the picked on hen has worked her way in with the other hens, let the other back in. She will then be the "odd hen out" and will be a lot less likely to pick on anyone. JMHO
  3. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Quote:Agreed - don't punish the passive one, it's not her fault. Mean birdies!
  4. cray54

    cray54 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 23, 2008
    Western MA
    I went out to isolate the instigator, but saw another hen instigating... so observed some more today, and found all 3 were picking on her on their own at different times.

    That makes me want to isolate the victim.

    How long is long enough to help? Do they treat her as a new bird after a certain period of time?

    Thanks again,
  5. cray54

    cray54 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 23, 2008
    Western MA
    Last night we re-introduced Nancy (the victim in our coop) after 9 days of separation, and this morning she was being pecked and chased around the coop just as before.

    So, this time I’m going to try listening to your suggestions, and isolate the one that seems to antagonize her the most. We’ll see how it goes.

  6. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    Good luck! I have a roo that's doing the unnecessary picking on one girl- he shall be stew as soon as I'm done using him to hatch [​IMG]
  7. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    Quote:Yummie..Chicken and dumplings....mmmmmm
  8. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Poor birdie! Why can't they all just get along???

    I've read other posts on here that talk about making sure they aren't bored. Can you put cabbage or something else in there for them to peck at?
  9. Pullet Pimp

    Pullet Pimp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2008
    Are you feeding enough protein?

    I had the same problem where several were picking on one hen. The one being picked on is a the bottom of the pecking order making her an easy target. After talking to silkiechicken we guessed my problem might be a lack of enough protein in their diet and they were eating the victims feathers for the extra protein. Prior to that I hadn't picked up a loose feather for quite some time.

    Well, I gave them some kitten food (40% protein) for a couple days and the problem instantly stopped. She is regrowing feathers where the bald spots were and I have been applying Blu-Kote on the bald spot so it doesn't stand out and draw attention. Now I supplement their diet with Black Oil Sunflower and make sure to toss them some other protein items with their treats.

    That solved my problem and it seems to be under control now. Also I have been giving them things to do since they have been "cooped up" several days in a row due to the below zero weather and snow and ice storms.

    Good luck.

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