Other hens pecking one hen (daughter crying)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Vermontmaple, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. Vermontmaple

    Vermontmaple Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh no. MY daughter is in tears. We have 5 hens (at least we still think they are hens); they are 5 months old. 4 of them are pecking at one hen. She is losing her feathers where they are pecking.......what could it be?
    Please help!!
     
  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you give some more info.? What are you feeding them? What is their housing/run like? Are her/their poops normal? Check the sticky at the top of this section and answer as many of the questions that you can.

    Sometimes they'll pick on a weak one, sometimes they need more protien and are actually eating the feathers. I'd seperate her for now and give her a good going over to see if there is something wrong. If she has any bloody spots you'll need to cover them and/or keep her away from the others until they heal. Blood or red skin will get even the nicest hen pecking at the injured one.
     
  3. Vermontmaple

    Vermontmaple Out Of The Brooder

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    We are feeding them feeder pellets and have been throwing in some bird feed. They are outside; it's been 10-20 degrees outside (we live in Vermont). Snow all around. We are going to put her in a dog cage in the basement. Hopefully, this will help.
    No idea what the poop is like, there's 5.....so we'll seperate and see what we can observe.
     
  4. werecatrising

    werecatrising Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could it be that this hen is just at the bottom of the pecking order? This is the case for my favorite girl, Buffy. Once they all hit laying age they started in on her.
     
  5. Vermontmaple

    Vermontmaple Out Of The Brooder

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    That could be! They are almost 6 months old. (NO eggs yet though)
     
  6. Kung Foo Chicken

    Kung Foo Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    It always works for me with introductions to do so in the reverse order.
    I introduce the head hen with the new chicken/chick in a new cage. I introduce one at a time
    backwards till everyone is in the same cage and gets along. Chickens like to flock and they will
    usually flock with any chicken rather than being alone.
     
  7. Vermontmaple

    Vermontmaple Out Of The Brooder

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    I bought these chick at the same time; so they are all like "sisters". This has been the only issue in the last 5 months.
     
  8. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    ...and have been throwing in some bird feed

    Please do not dilute their nutrition by adding bird seed. I suggest you separate the one being picked on (any scabs and such will simply encourage the others to keep picking on her) > If there is a visably "dominant' girl in the group then separate her too if at all possible. Do not return this leader-of-the-current-group until a couple days after you have reintroduced the hen that is being picked on now.... this will throw the current pecking order out of whack sufficiently to hopefully correct the problem.
    I suggest you get a good supplement like AviaCharge 2000 (you can order this online from McMurry Hatcheries) and give this daily during the cold stress period to ensure against deficiencies.
    Offer a good quality live culture yogurt free choice (not flavored)​
     
  9. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    How big is the coop? Are they free-ranging or confined? Do they have a run and how big is that?
     
  10. dlolato

    dlolato Out Of The Brooder

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    I've noticed with my hens that this will sometimes happen around the age of six months. Usually they will work it out as they establish their order, but sometimes in order to save the hen being harrassed, you will have to remove her from the rest of the flock. I have one right now that wanders the barn like she is a dog........she was constantly screaming and being chased by her sisters. I fortunatelly, have a large barn and I was able to remove her from the others. She follows us around and has her own special area that she lays her eggs. Until we moved her, she was so distressed that she never layed an egg.

    I tried re-introducing her back into the flock and all she did was jump up and down by the door until I let her back out. We have all our chicks in different pens, and she will visit the pens during the day. and at night, sit on top of the pen of her favorite babies.

    GOOD LUCK!!
     

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