New Hampshire Reds picking on my lame chicken

Iluvmychick

In the Brooder
Apr 27, 2017
2
3
14
Hi, I have a lame chicken, Little Foot (foot is backwards), but is really happy and healthy and hobbles around. My NHR's keep picking on her. During the day she hides in the bushes so they can't attack her, but if for one moment she goes to the open grassy area she is attacked. I am usually there to watch but I was distracted and they drew blood this time. I've tried everything to get the reds to behave, short of getting rid of her or the reds. Any advice? They are cooped separately at night, so no worries there. Little Foot is such a sweet chicken I hate to have to get rid of her, which will be hard since she is different than the other. Everyone is telling to get rid of the reds, which is hard to do too. :)
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
10,881
17,767
726
western South Dakota
Wishing chickens will get along does not work. You can do a separate set up, or live with it like it is, or cull some birds. Birds do not feel sorry for a victim. They have the attitude, this is a waste of feed on a deformed bird. Some birds are more aggressive than others, but all have this tendency.

Thing is, this is a tension on the flock. I don't like that myself. I would cull something and get different birds, but I like a happy flock, not so much individual birds.

Sometimes you have a bird that does not fit in the flock, for whatever reason, not enough space, types of birds, internal disorders. Culling should be a fact of life in keeping chickens. Solving for the peace of the flock makes having chicken more enjoyable. Constantly seeing abuse is ugly.

Mrs K
 

Folly's place

Enabler
11 Years
Sep 13, 2011
25,666
47,104
1,196
southern Michigan
Have two coops, with some small submissive friends for your abused bird, or eliminate somebody(s). Chickens are little velociraptors at heart, and this is not going to end well.
Deal with it today! Things are already out of hand. One chicken alone is just wrong, so having her by herself is not the right choice.
Mary
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,264
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
Wishes and hope just doesn't cut it in the chicken world. You are better off, your flock is better off, and I suspect that Little Foot is better off if she was culled. I realize that culling a bird that is a punching bag is not popular but it is also against my up-bringing to keep a chicken that will never have a chance to enjoy life or fulfill its ethos.

The rule in chickendom is this, "The more disabled an individual bird is or has become the more intense will be the pressure put on that bird by its flock mates to simply go away."
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
12 Years
Mar 15, 2010
16,624
36,587
1,132
On the MN prairie.
Wishes and hope just doesn't cut it in the chicken world. You are better off, your flock is better off, and I suspect that Little Foot is better off if she was culled. I realize that culling a bird that is a punching bag is not popular but it is also against my up-bringing to keep a chicken that will never have a chance to enjoy life or fulfill its ethos.

The rule in chickendom is this, "The more disabled an individual bird is or has become the more intense will be the pressure put on that bird by its flock mates to simply go away."
I agree. What kind of life does she have now? Never being able to go out in the open for fear of being attacked, or needing to be separated from the flock and living as an only chicken? Neither is ideal. Chickens are flock animals and should be with other chickens.
 

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