New to group and need help!

7LittleOnes

Hatching
5 Years
Oct 13, 2014
4
0
7
HI! Finally not lurking and needing a little help.

I have 7 Chicken right now. I purchase my first three 10 month old laying hens from a local farm in May - a Red Production, Speckled Hen, and a Polish. The Polish is our absolute favorite. She is so mild, loving, wants to held and pet, and unlike her breed lays about 6 eggs per week!

Shortly after, we hatched 4 Lavender Amercauna chicks in an incubator. They are now 14 weeks old. We still do not know if we have hens or roosters. I sent pics to the farm that sent us the eggs and was told that this breed usually becomes more evident around 16 weeks, so not far to go. I have my guess that two may be roosters though. Everything has been going great.....

Until recently. I noticed my Polish has not been laying eggs for the past 5 days. Very strange for her, but I deducted that with the weather changing, maybe it was normal.

Yesterday, I woke up in the morning to feed them and notice a feather frenzy in bottom of coop, mostly from my prized Polish and the others from one or more of the Lavenders. The entire section of tail feathers has been ripped right off her, and several areas of her wings and backside look attacked. None of the Lavenders look that tussled, so he/she obviously won the fight.

I separated out my Polish into another coop that we had been preparing to put all the birds in for winter. She is unusually skid dish now, runs away from us, and seems to be just roosting in the coop. I opened the door to let her roam the yard, but she won't come out. She's eating and drinking.... but I am so worried about her.

What do I do???? Thank you for your help!
 

TwoCrows

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BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
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Hello there and welcome to BYC!
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So sorry about your Polish. Many times these birds get picked on and you can't keep them with a large breed flock. So you might consider keeping her permanently separated. Get her another friend for companionship or maybe even make a house pet out of her. Lots of people do that here on BYC. Here is a thread on house chickens you might take a look at...https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/299187/people-with-house-chickens

But if you want to keep her outdoors, you might stop by your state thread and see if you can find some other Polish or even Silkies to keep with her. Both of these breeds will get along together. Scroll through this link to find your state thread...https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you

Make sure she is ok if you can catch her. You might want to keep her confined for a while so she can relax. Then work with her to win her trust back over. Food is a wonderful bonding agent.

Good luck with your Polish. Don't let her get beat up by the rest of your flock. So keep her separated and find her some friends.
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
X2. Birds that look different in a flock of standard birds often get picked on, especially if they are the only one of their kind and lower in the pecking order. She needs her own coop/run with a few friends like herself, or silkies as TwoCrows mentioned. That should make life much happier and less stressful for her.
 

BantamLover21

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 24, 2013
23,660
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Glad you joined us!

X2 on TwoCrows' and cafarmgirl's advice. Your hen may continue being picked on unless she becomes part of a "special" flock.
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
137,604
260,087
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Out to pasture
Chickens seem as bigoted as some people. Weird. I see all the different wild birds in nature out here and they don't square off and fight because some look different. They say chickens descended from dinosaurs - maybe that's where they get the sometimes violent nature.
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
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Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Sorry about your poor Polish getting beat up. X4, unfortunately they often do get picked on in mixed flocks and need to be kept separate.
 

Mountain Peeps

Jesus is my life
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Apr 23, 2014
28,457
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Colorado
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Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

I agree with the above posters. Is there any way she can become a house pet? Buy a diaper for her and keep her inside? Here's a link on diapers and info on keeping house chickens.
http://chickendiapers.com/
http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/moving-your-chickens-indoors/
http://www.permies.com/t/15486/chickens/Keeping-chickens-indoors

So I would say nurse her back to health and keep her inside. If you absolutely can't or don't want a house chicken then try and find her a gentle buddy and keep them in a separate coop outside.

Best of luck!
 

7LittleOnes

Hatching
5 Years
Oct 13, 2014
4
0
7
Thank you for all the replies. Unfortunately, I am currently at max (actually above) and banking on a couple of the Lavenders being roos - not for a space issue, the coop is plenty large, but allowed by law on my property.

Do you think it would be ok to separate out the Lavenders and put my Polish in with just her old group of three - Red and Speckled. They were never aggressive to her before.

Thank you so much for all the help!
 

7LittleOnes

Hatching
5 Years
Oct 13, 2014
4
0
7
I have never even though about moving her inside.... I will have to look into it, but I am a clean FREAK, and not so sure I could do it. But I will read up!
 

Wyandottes7

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 24, 2013
20,586
1,309
401
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We're glad to have you.


Thank you for all the replies. Unfortunately, I am currently at max (actually above) and banking on a couple of the Lavenders being roos - not for a space issue, the coop is plenty large, but allowed by law on my property.

Do you think it would be ok to separate out the Lavenders and put my Polish in with just her old group of three - Red and Speckled. They were never aggressive to her before.

Thank you so much for all the help!

This may work. However, she hasn't been with any of them for a while, so they may know longer view her as a "friend". It is often difficult to introduce single birds back into a flock, especially if they've been away for a while. It wouldn't hurt to try- just watch for any trouble.
 

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