New Beat up Chicken + First Winter Weather + Random Bullying?!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by AkMartine, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. AkMartine

    AkMartine Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 1, 2011
    Big problem, three problems actually that I can't solve -- my friend's flock of chickens were all killed by a couple of retarded dogs, except one older chicken, Zelda. We took her in and put her in the coop with my four young chickens at night and everything, so that my chickens would be more accepting of her in the day. They weren't -- they plucked out tons of her feathers and jumped and pecked at her so bad that I built a division in their closed run and brought out my rabbits winter hutch for Zelda to sleep in. They can see each other, but can't really reach through the chicken wire. We were going to wait a week to slowly reintroduce her (they are still very hostile towards poor Zelda [​IMG] , even through the wire).
    Second problem, winter is rolling in, putting a time limit (a few days) on the whole introduction thing. We've had our first small storm the other day which dumped only four inches or so on the ground (no problem for the chickens), but the "big one" is due this Friday. I'm afraid Zelda won't survive without huddling up with the other chickens. Plus, with this winter weather, the rabbit needs his hutch back so HE can survive too.
    The THIRD and final problem [​IMG] is that ever since the cold weather started and Zelda came, my normally sweet Golden Comet has gotten a taste for plucking one of my Australorps bald on her thighs and the sides of her neck. She haven't done anything like this since was a chick. I've put extra calcium (shells) and protein (cat food) out, but its now so bad that I've locked her up. Plus, instead of greeting and cuddling up to me, she mostly hisses. So confused...she's always been the sweetheart!!!
  2. Peachesbabychick

    Peachesbabychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello. I'm sorry to hear about your girl Zelda.

    Even though she is kind of separate in the rabbit hutch, still being around the others is very stressful for her. You need to separate her completley away from them and out of the cold.

    I would put her in a medium sized crate in the garage at night or just during cold days, nurture her back to health, and then SLOWLY reunite her with the flock. Let her out during the day but separate from the others.

    Meanwhile........ if you want to keep a healthy, non picked flock, find new homes for the peckers before the habit spreads to the rest of the flock. You must do this immediatly! Once they start picking, they never stop. Then when you are ready to put Zelda back, (when she is healthy again) you will be putting her with your new, nicely adjusted flock.

    I hope this helps!
  3. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2010
    S.E. Michigan
    It can take a lot longer to introduce a new chicken.
    Sorry, don't have any advice...[​IMG]
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    I don't agree with isolating her completely. I think she'll be more stressed by being alone than in the company of others, even with wire between them.
  5. AkMartine

    AkMartine Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 1, 2011
    Thank you so much! [​IMG] I tried separating Veertje (the pecker) for a day but the nights are too cold, and another chicken has started to pick up Veertje's habit. Its an Australorp, Meisie, that gets pecked constantly. [​IMG]

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