One hen pecked badly by others, has crooked toes

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GinaHamilton, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. GinaHamilton

    GinaHamilton New Egg

    Oct 25, 2013
    I have six barred rock hens raised from chicks. One of the chicks had deformed crooked toes which became obvious a month or so later, but the vet said the hen should be fine since our birds are layers. However, poor Mehitabel is slower than the other hens, and has been picked on mercilessly by some of the others, and has figured out how to escape the run to avoid them (she pulls the staples out with her beak, clever girl). I've tried Vicks, but she acts like it bothers her a lot. I let her stay in the coop today to recuperate, but I guess another of the hens got out and my husband put her in the coop with Mehitabel, and when I got home, Mehitabel was bloody. I brought her inside and put her in the chick brooder cage, but I'm not sure what can be done. I'll keep her in until she's healed and her feathers grow back completely, but if they're targeting her because of the crooked toe thing, won't it just happen again? Am I doomed to have a house chicken? Should I let her be near the others in the brooder box but not in the run?
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    When there is one "lead bully," one bird who attacks the others or leads the attacks. it wometimes works to remove that bird for a weeks or so. When the bird is returned, it is then the "new guy" and thus at the bottom of the pecking order. But if you can't identify a leader of the attacks, you may just have to find her another flock. It's possible there is more wrong with her than the toes and that the flock senses this. They will definitely attack if they sense that a bird is a weak member.

    That may not be any help, sorry.

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