One hen picking on the rest & drawing blood - how do I separate & reintroduce her?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SuziCue, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. SuziCue

    SuziCue Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2012
    Well, my thread title pretty much sums it all up. I have 6 hens, all the same age and raised together from chicks since March. My barred rock is pecking at 4 of the other hens and drawing blood on their combs. The last hen may be getting picked on as well, but she's a small bantam without a comb, so there's nothing for the barred rock to peck. There are no injuries on their bodies, just their combs. My two RIR's seem to be getting the most damage--they are actually missing some of their combs now, instead of just having a couple scabs.

    I'm assuming the best way to deal with this is to separate out the bully....is that right? Also, my hen house is only 4'x4'x4' with a 12'x8' enclosed run area. I can easily put her in a wire dog crate within the run area, so she's close but can't reach the others...but she'll have no shelter on the cold nights? I live in Northern California, so our weather isn't that bad, but the cold could still be damaging if she has no protection from the wind or frost, and no enclosure to retain her body heat. Do you think it would be enough shelter if I attach a box, or a plastic cat crate (with the holes covered) to the dog crate for a separate sleeping/nesting area?

    Once I've figured out a way to separate her, how long should she be kept separate? How do I integrate her back into the flock?

    Lastly, on a different note, the RIR's that are now missing chunks of their combs: will the combs ever grow back to their previous size?

    Thanks for all your help!

    Susan
     

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