Pecking feathers off new bird

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MaineGrant, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. MaineGrant

    MaineGrant Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2012
    Auburn, ME
    We got a new chicken last night and put her in the coop with the other birds. This afternoon my wife went to check for eggs and found the new birds tail pecked clean of feathers. Any idea why the other birds would be doing this?
    We have taken the new bird inside to prevent further injuries to her ... we don't want the other birds pecking her to death!
    We have 4 birds: a barred rock, golden comet, and white leghorn. The newest bird is an aracuana. They are all similar in age, with the white leghorn being the oldest and laying.

    http://imgur.com/a/3Mg5c
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Well for starters new birds should always be quarantined a good 30 days so that, hopefully, any illness they might be carrying will become evident. Very easy to introduce nasty diseases into your flock otherwise.

    Next, new birds need to be given their own area, like fence off part of the run for them and give them a dog crate in the coop to sleep in at night. Do this for a couple of weeks to let the existing birds get used to them without being able to attack. It really cuts down on the aggression when they finally do get together.

    Last, it can often be very, very difficult to integrate just one new bird into a small flock. It often takes a lot of time and even more patience. Chickens HATE newcomers and they just fixate on that one new bird. I have integrated loners before, I will never do it again if I can help it. Three or more is much easier. Make sure there a places for the new bird to hide and get away from the others when you do put her into the coop. And supervise! Attacks can quickly lead to blood being drawn and worse.
     
  3. MaineGrant

    MaineGrant Out Of The Brooder

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    22
    Mar 14, 2012
    Auburn, ME
    There was blood being drawn from the new chicken so we pulled her out. I feel like I've read that once they seen blood they will just keep pecking at it and could possibly kill the bird.
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Very true. The last time I tried integrating a single new bird they got her in a corner and scalped her, luckily I got there in time. In my case they got it in their heads to go after this one new bird and they never did accept her. It got to where she could free range with them in the pasture but they never would allow her in the coop at night. She ended up just roosting in my goat barn.

    But it doesn't always go like that of course, sometimes it works out eventually. If there is any way you can fence off a little area for your new bird next to your other birds and just keep trying things may settle down.. It just may take a long time.
     

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