My hen is a bit beat up, and I think the roo is at fault

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LestersFlat, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. LestersFlat

    LestersFlat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2011
    Schuyler Lake NY
    We added three 1YO hens to our existing flock of 6 hens and 1 roo. I stupidly bought them on Craig's List, and I am thinking they are older than a year because of how few eggs they lay. Also, one of them came to us already missing feathers, supposedly from "a rough rooster".

    So there's my warning, be careful of what you buy on Craig's List.

    The hen who was roughed up is now worse than when we got her. She is missing most of her feathers on both sides at the back. This is down to the skin, and some of the skin is red, but not bloody. I can also see that she is getting pecked at the back and very top of her neck, and on her chest. There are still feathers in these spots, but they are just stubs.

    I did have an issue where a different hen, from the original flock, was pecked almost naked by the others, but I am pretty sure this was a reaction to being cooped up on the coldest winter days after free ranging the rest of the time. She has since been returned and is doing very well now that they are all free ranging again.

    So my question is: should I separate the pecked one like I did the naked one? I had to separate the naked one because it was so cold out there and she had very few feathers to keep her warm. She spent about a month in the garage with the heat lamp. But now I have 6WO chicks in the "Chicken Hospital" in the garage, and I am not sure what to do with the poor pecked girl? She does have enough feathers to keep her warm.

    Do you think it is better to separate her now, before she gets pecked to the point of being bloody?

    Should I put her in a separate crate in the garage with the chicks? And then in the outside pen directly with them when the weather is nice? Do you think she will peck at the chicks?

    Or is it best to leave her with the existing group? Obviously she is already at the bottom of the order, but will I make it worse if I take her out and then have to bring her back in again?

    They are free ranging all day, so she can stay away from the main group if she wants, and mostly she does. We call her The Outcast. It must be in the coop at night that she is getting bullied, or when the roo is mounting her, which I have not actually seen. Not sure if I should help her out, or just let her be...
     
  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    First, I would ask - did you quarantine these new birds before putting them in with your existing flock? She may have lice, or mites, or both. I would NOT put her anywhere near 6 week old chicks, for fear of what she may expose them to before their immune systems are built up. Is there a way to separate her in a crate or cage within the main coop? This way, she is still part of the "group" dynamic, though there will still be some picking on when she is turned loose. I would at the very least get her an apron / saddle to protect her exposed skin from the roosters "attention"....
     

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