Outcast Hen!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rickys-chickys, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. rickys-chickys

    rickys-chickys New Egg

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    Oct 12, 2012
    I have had four hens for several months now. Two are six months and two are five months. We have kept them in an enclosed run with a roosting box attached. Yesterday shortly before sunset we decided to let them free range in our backyard for the first time. Well the silly girls could not figure out how to get back into the roost, so I had to catch them and place them back in. The very next day they started picking on one of the younger hens. I believe this was the hen that made quite a racket when I caught her to put her back. They peck at her until she runs back into the roost. If she comes out they attack her again. I put some food and water in the roost for her, not sure if she is taking any. None of my hens have started laying yet. I don't know what to do for her. Our space is limited. Do these things tend to pass? Is there anything I can do? Thanks for your help.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  2. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2010
    Pennsylvania
    Hmm, not sure what to do. Is she the same color as everyone else? They could just be starting to develop a peck order and unfortunately, sounds like she's at the bottom. I would just keep an eye on her and make sure she has no open wounds (if she does-separate her) and is still able to eat, drink, and get shelter. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    How much room do they have in their coop and run? They may get over this or they may not. If they are too crowded and getting on each other's nerves then pecking is often the result.

    If they have plenty of room try watching for a while and see if there is a bird who is instigating this or if it's pretty much all of them. If you have a bully who starts things you can pull that bird out for a few days or so and see if things settle down when she goes back in.

    You can try giving them things to do to divert their attention. Toss a flake of alfalfa in the run for them to scratch apart, throw a little scratch in there with it, a pile of dry leaves to dig through, a head of cabbage to peck apart... just something for them to do to keep them busy.
     
  4. rickys-chickys

    rickys-chickys New Egg

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    Oct 12, 2012
    After a couple of days of hiding in the roost box, my badgered hen has come out and is getting along well. I guess they were just establishing a pecking order. Now we are just waiting on getting that first egg. Thanks for the advice. [​IMG] Rick
     

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