Older Hens attacking younger hens when laying...LOTS OF BLOOD!!! HELP!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Enchantedstargazer, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. Enchantedstargazer

    Enchantedstargazer New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Jan 27, 2008
    Austin Texas
    I own five hens, three from the same clutch (almost two years old) and twin barnevelders (about ten months old). Since the time the barnevelders were chicks, the older hens have pecked at them and harried them without end. Most chicken owners I spoke to told me this was normal, and that the hens would calm down once their pecking order was re-established. Now, almost six months later, only one of the barnevelders can get anywhere near the older girls. The runt (not in size, but in courage) still has problems with the three older hens. I'd been excited lately, since they'd started to leave her alone. This week, however, I came running outside because I could hear them fighting, and I heard one chicken almost screaming. They had cornered the youngest hen (her name is Nugget) while she was on the laying box, and had proceeded to gang up on her and tear her comb almost halfway off. There's blood all over the laying box, and none of the hens will go anywhere near it. I rushed poor Nugget to the local vet and he sewed her comb back on, but now I have no idea what to do!! This can't be normal chicken behavior!! Now Nugget is so scared of laying, she hides on top of our garage shelves, and tries to hide behind the boxes. Please help me! I have no ideas left, and I don't want to have to get rid of any of my chickens!

    ~Carolyne
     
  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    4,871
    22
    251
    Jan 11, 2007
    to be blunt I know of no other solution than to separate them. This does happen with regularity.
     
  3. Enchantedstargazer

    Enchantedstargazer New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Jan 27, 2008
    Austin Texas
    i'd heard of hens being fiesty with each other, but i never expected it on the laying box.
    This is a sad situation. I'm begninning to think I may have to get rid of the poor little runt.
     
  4. therealsilkiechick

    therealsilkiechick ShowGirl Queen

    Jul 18, 2007
    Northwestern, pa
    are they freeranged or coop chookies? if i have that problem i seperate them in my breeding pens that have wire dividers. if they are freeranged i'd coop the younger 2 seperate in a coop and run. that way runt is not alone and has company and can keep warm at nights and the others can still freerange and noone will get hurt. those 2 would be in an encloser.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by