managing a hen pecked pullet

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jodiplunk, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. jodiplunk

    jodiplunk Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 19, 2013
    We recently added 3 birds to our flock of 25-30 week old Pullets. The new birds were 17 and 25 weeks old. At the advice of the hatchery where we buy our chickens we were told this shouldn't be a problem and kept the new birds in a run attached to the coop all day and let the existing birds go in to join them at night. There was the normal sorting of the pecking order over the next day or two and then I thought that everyone knew where they stood. Suddenly in the middle of the day, one of the new birds starting picking on another of the new birds. Until now they had been allies, sleeping together and walking around the yard together but one started pulling at the others tail feathers. I noticed it when I went out to check on them all and she was bleeding quite a lot and had only one remaining tail feather.
    I separated her, put her in a large ventilated box over night in the garage, and gave her the roam of a smaller 'staging area' that is attached to our main yard during the day but didn't have any of the other chickens in. We've sprayed her with Blu-Kote and have kept her separated again tonight. Any advice about how to manage this situation and get her back into the flock safely would be gratefully received. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    Have you ever heard of a chicken saddle? I've heard sometimes those work.
     
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    A chicken saddle will not help with tail feathers being pulled out. The injured bird will need to stay out of the flock until she's had some time to heal and wounds are not visible to the others. The Blu Kote will help with that.

    Remove the chicken who is doing the pecking. Keep her out for two or three days then put her back in the flock and see if she's had enough of a time out to have an attitude adjustment! If not she may need a longer time out. She will also have to regain her status with the others when she returns and that can help. Just keep an eye on her and if she continues being aggressive you'll have to decide if you want to keep her or not. I don't have any tolerance for aggressive hens who peck. To easy to have it turn into a nasty habit with more and more birds involved.
     
  4. jodiplunk

    jodiplunk Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 19, 2013
    Thanks so much @cafarmgirl I"ve kept the injured hen out of the second night and will keep her in the smaller yard area that the other chickens can't get to. how long do you think I should do this for? With the Blu-Kote the wound really isn't as visible. No red, just a rather abrupt tail end with no tail feathers :( Also, how do I go about re entering her to the flock as she will have been gone a few days?! Thanks in advance!
     
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    If they free range at all that's probably when I'd put her back out with them and see how it goes. Toss some treats out to distract them, meal worms, scratch, whatever. I've had birds pulled out of the flock for a week and re-joined the group with no problem. But those were birds that had been in the flock a long time. If she was getting along with them before it probably won't be a problem. Especially if they can still see her where she's penned now. She's probably ok to go back with them as long as there is no open wound, no visible blood etc. I would put her back and just watch closely. Provided the one who did the pecking is not in with her! That one I'd not trust!
     

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