Mean Hen and Missing Feathers

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by blessedchickenmama7, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. blessedchickenmama7

    blessedchickenmama7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 12, 2008
    Western NC
    I have a mean, bossy PR/RIR hen. She's been that way since she was little. She's definitely the top of the pecking order, but she's just hateful! Anyway, today I went out to the coop and she looks like she has been in a fight in several places. Her feathers are thin in places, and where her crop is, the appear to be broken off, not pulled out. I didn't see or hear anything happening and none of the others have anything wrong with them like this. I've never had one molt, and thought maybe this might be it (she's 9 months old, so i think she's too young maybe?) but with the broken ones I wonder if the others are finally tired of her hatefulness and they are ganging up on her. Do chickens do that? Or do they always stay within their pecking order if it's been established for this long? They've all been together since day one. I couldn't blame them if they did finally get her. She's needed it for a while.

    Funny thing is, she's not mean to humans. Just the opposite. She's only mean to the other hens. Not even the roos.
     
  2. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    Hey,

    That sounds like a pretty drastic change in the pecking order and in a short period of time. I might check her out and see if she is healthy because I have heard of the flock turning on one because of her bad health.


    Good luck [​IMG]
     
  3. blessedchickenmama7

    blessedchickenmama7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 12, 2008
    Western NC
    Thank you for the reply. Have been and will be watching. So far, have not seen anything else out of the ordinary. She's acting normal and no signs of illness. I really think she's beat up. I am just wondering who did it. I haven't been out this morning but I'm about to head out. As long as she's not sick, I hate to admit I'd be rooting for the other girls to get her under control.
     
  4. blessedchickenmama7

    blessedchickenmama7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 12, 2008
    Western NC
    Well, I went out a while ago and I had bought them some cat food because I've been reading that it's good for them to get more protein in them, especially in winter. So I put a couple palmfuls out and they all run over. She's as eager as the others but I did notice a skirmish between her and a BO, who is also missing a few feathers now. So I watched. The BO is much larger and appears to be getting the best of her. It seems the BO is putting her in her place. Neither have scabs or blood, but it looks like they trying to grab feathers with their beaks and actually jerking the other one around by them, if that makes sense. I feel sure that's how the "broken" feathers are happening. Short of crating one in a pet carrier, I don't have a way to isolate her. I'd have to bring her inside if I did that because it's stinkin' cold outside right now. I don't have separate pen outside. I've got to figure something out or the red hen's gonna be bald because the BO is obviously winning this one. I guess she's tired of being lower in the pecking order.

    And on top of all that, in spite of the fight, they don't like the cat food. After the fight, they all left it laying.

    This is worse than human drama.
     

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