Pecking/Bullying problem

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Stands With A Fiddle, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. Hi --

    I have a little Polish Pullet that is quite a bit younger than the rest of my flock. I got them all at the same time, tho. Today I noticed a really nasty injury on her head and the other hens were pecking it. She was also running away from the rest of the flock.

    Because they are mostly in the coop (with a couple hours of free-range time per day), I thought I should put her in Solitary. My arrangement for that was the usual dog-kennel. Between this forum and my chicken books, I did get that much right.

    My question is whether I should be keeping her and the kennel inside or outside. The others can still talk to her without being able to peck her, if she is outside. However, we are having a frost every night, and it's supposed to snow later this week. So, I'm wondering whether she'll be warm enough without the other hens to snuggle her at night.


  2. Zoey

    Zoey In the Brooder

    Jun 5, 2009
    Big Island, Hawaii
    You definately should keep her out of drafts, so indoors/ or in some kind of proteced area would be good.

    I have polish, and some still defeather the topknot, so seperating may have to be permanant, if there is blood when the feathers get pulled , they will all cannabalize, and push her from the feed and water, the bird could dehydrate and starve out ...
  3. eggsrcool

    eggsrcool Sussex Fanatic

    Definitely keep her out of drafts, just as Zoey said. Perhaps even a heat lamp.

    You may also want to spray her with PurpleSpray, for example, which speeds up the healing process, and when she goes back in with the others, they HATE the taste, and will make them quickly go off the idea that picking the polish's head is a good idea. Considering she is younger, she may have a very low position in the pecking order, so will get picked on.

    Good luck

    eggsrcool [​IMG]
  4. MissJenny

    MissJenny Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I'm not sure what your set up is, but I am wondering if this little Polish isn't going to end up being the odd girl out no matter what. If that's the case, and if it is remotely possible, can you get her a Polish friend or two and set up two coops.


  5. She is actually one of two Polish, so she does have a Polish friend. They are in the same coop as the rest of the flock, tho. But it is pretty obvious she has a low position in the pecking order due to age. Due to free-range time, I'm not all that concerned about starvation/dehydration. She does spend lots of time scavenging away from the rest of the flock, and my dad feeds her treats off to the side due to the bullying.

    The dog kennel I'm using is one of those plastic deals with air holes in the sides. But the air holes are about the level of her head when she is standing, so she is somewhat protected from drafts when she is lying down to sleep. My concern is that she remain cold-hardy. BUT, the temp has dropped so drastically in the last couple of days that I don't know if it is OK for her to be away from the heat of the rest of the flock.

    The purple spray sounds like it might be worth trying long term before deciding whether or not to rehome her due to the pecking. Can I get it at feed store? If I can get it online could you please post a link?

    Thx. Jenn
  6. cherylcohen

    cherylcohen The Omelet Ranch

    Sep 18, 2009
    SF East Bay CA
    We've actually had pretty good luck with the purple medicine, it smells like camphor however will stain your lighter colored chicks.

    other thing that we have done in flock management is segregate either the pecked one with a friend or put a few of the bullies in a separate area.

    In all cases we bringthem to sleep together tonight. Nothing much happens once they are on the roost
  7. So.... I've had my flock since early August without incident.

    Now that I took that poor little Polish out and put her into Solitary, they tore apart the top knot on the other Polish who is much older than the rest. She will be going into Solitary tonight. I'm going to have them in private kennels until they heal a little and try to reintroduce them.

    So far, from this thread, I've gotten that this is a common thing to have happen with Polish chickens. I've also gotten out of it that there are products available to discourage it (they will be Purple Crested Black Polish after tonight [​IMG] ). I also ordered the Rooster Booster online, and it should be coming any day now.

    Anyway, why is this happening after nearly three non-eventful months? Does this have anything to do with days getting shorter? Boredom? Is there anything I can do to prevent pecking other than using the products that have been recommended?

  8. eggsrcool

    eggsrcool Sussex Fanatic

    Quote:I dont keep Polish, so I'm not familiar with the reactions from other breeds.. It may just be out of boredom, when you re-introduce them into the flock again, try giving them some form of enrichment, hanging a cabbage from a piece of string, or putting corn or their food into the ground, and mix it into the ground and sprinkle their food on top, I find with quail keeps them busy for a few hours, as they peck and scratch to find the food, so perhaps make a few patches for them to do this. Give a form of enrichment every few days, about 3 or 4 maybe 5 times a week, to keep them busy.

    Good luck, and keep up updated,

    eggsrcool [​IMG]
  9. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Songster

    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    Our bottom pullet also got scalped and had to go into solitary for a while, poor thing.

    I am concerned about our winter quarters, trying to make them big enough that she will have plenty of places to get away from the others.

    Also ways to get to food and water.

    But if we remove her completely, they will just pick another bottom bird, correct?

  10. Quote:That appears to be the case with my flock. [​IMG]

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