Need help with hurt hen, flock being mean!


10 Years
Aug 2, 2009
Southwestern Washington State
We have a mixed flock of chickens and ducks, the ducks being cayuga and muscovy. The muscovy are pretty much the dominant ones esp the males.

We are fostering a little dog from the humane society who managed to attack a young muscovy female (almost three months old) who managed to fly out of the enclosure and right into the dog area. She recieved some sort of injury to her wing and under the wing area and she seems to drag it. She seems to be recovering from the wound and we had kept her in isolation. She has been extremely depressed there, however, even though we had her in a cage right next to the other ducks. We also put her in the adjoining pen which is really for our goats, but they do not bother her, but she spends the entire time dragging herself from side to side, trying to find a way to the pond and the other ducks all day long and pouts in a crate at night. This morning she was trying to fly back into the enclosure and I was worried that was bad for her sore wing.

So I decided to try to incorporate her back into the flock and picked a time when everyone was busy and occupied eating and free ranging. I snuck her back over the fence and she went right for the pond, which I hope wasn't terrible for her wound but it was what she wanted very much. She seemed to have a little bit of a hard time swimming properly and it caught the attention of the other ducks. When she came out, they came over to check her out and she pecked at a couple of them, one of them being Blackhead, our biggest friendliest male, who is rather dominant. Well Blackhead turned immediately evil and attacked her right on her broken wing and jumped her and held her down pecking her, before I could say boo to a goose. Gee, I wonder where that phrase came from? I think he was trying to kill her, it was very evil!

In any event, I threw a rock at Blackhead and pushed him out the door of the enclosure and closed it. But when I turned around, a hen was attacking her on the wing, too! I had to catch her and put her back in the adjacent pen. She had gotten all clean but was filthy again and very sad. She spent the rest of the day pacing however, trying to make it back inside.

I picked a small hen to put on her side of the fence and that seemed to help a little because that one did not peck her and she ate a little bit when that one was excited about the fresh grass on their side of the fence, but she is still pacing and has worn out her feet now.

I'm not sure what to do, but Blackhead was on the possible list for freezer camp, so that is one of my choices. But I don't want to cull him if culling her is the best idea. I really wanted all the hens I have however, about .


Apr 19, 2009
Valdez, Alaska
I think they can sense the weak one.. and they tend to pick on them, especially drakes. I had a female who had surgery on her foot and I had to isolate her for a while. Every time I put her back into the pen my drake would keep mating with her and bloody her neck all up. I finally took him out and kept him isolated for a while - then I put him in a pen within the pen so he couldn't reach her. When I let him out a couple of days ago - he has been leaving her alone - at least for the time being. I am not sure what the answer is, but I know they seem to pick on the weak one - good luck - hope you find an answer.

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