Lost pullet

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by betchern0t, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. betchern0t

    betchern0t Out Of The Brooder

    24
    3
    24
    Jan 7, 2015
    Sad times. Just been introducing two pullets to my flock of 4 adults. They spent a couple of weeks in quarantine then two weeks in a cage next to the rest of the flock, then half a week or more mixing in the back yard before being put in the run and coop with the others. After almost two weeks I go after checking on them a couple of hours ago and find one almost dead on the floor of the run. Bullied and pecked to an mm of death. Probably will die.

    So sad, dissappointing and annoying. I am not an expert on chickens yet but I thought I had read up and had a goodish strategy.

    Please let me know if it is just bad luck?

    Cheers Paul
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    27,283
    10,770
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Sorry to hear about your loss Paul. It could due to over crowding, having no bolt holes to escape aggression, insufficient feeding stations or just a plain old mean hen (I'm sure there are other factors that peeps will suggest). Hopefully, more responses will help you create a checklist of possible causes that you can then consider.

    All the best
    CT
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,802
    5,551
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  4. betchern0t

    betchern0t Out Of The Brooder

    24
    3
    24
    Jan 7, 2015
    The run has about 6 square metres. The coop itself about 2 square metres and that is my coop/run. I think I just have a mean hen. I separated her - solitary confinement while organising better hiding spots for the last pullet. We had no bullying for that time.

    Cheers Paul
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  5. UrbanSilkies

    UrbanSilkies Out Of The Brooder

    55
    1
    33
    Aug 5, 2015
    If you have a mean hen, it can be difficult to mix chickens. I had a hen that suddenly started pecking my little silkie constantly, and when we introduced chicks, she would pick them up by the throat and shake them. When you introduce new chickens, make sure you stay and watch for a long time until you are sure they will be ok together. You can also "peck" her lightly with your finger as a rooster would when they peck the chicks. Unfortunately, you might have to get rid of the hen if the others are fine with them. My hen did decrease the pecking but the silkie + chicks were terrified of her, so we couldn't keep her.

    Also, you might not have given them enough time. My chicks spent 4 weeks free ranging all day with my adults before I put them in the same coop, and even now they get pecked, although it's tolerable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  6. betchern0t

    betchern0t Out Of The Brooder

    24
    3
    24
    Jan 7, 2015
    Thanks Urban Silkie. The thing that was really weird about this was that I could see that the two pullets were acting as part of the flock. They had gone from keeping separate and being bullied regularly to taking a normal part in the flock behaviour and just occasionally getting pecked and then I come and find one almost dead. Don't worry the hen in question is first on the list for the stew pot. I was hoping to keep her though for another year.

    What I have done is create one area of the run which only the pullet can access. Hopefully this will solve the problem while the pecking order is finally settled down.

    Cheers Paul
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,802
    5,551
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Run space is minimum for 6 birds, coop space is too small.
    I mean, you can keep that many birds in that space....but you'll have the problems you are seeing.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by