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Problem Behaviors

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by txbelle413, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. txbelle413

    txbelle413 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2016
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    Let me start by saying, I've only had chickens less than a year, so I'm still learning.
    I started with one RIR hen, Henrietta, that was in a coop by herself. She was given to me because she was being mean to my friend's kids and she just didn't want her anymore. She will charge at me sometimes when I go into the coop or will run at the food as soon as I put it out. She also slept in her nesting box every night. Not long after I got her, I decided to get 3 more pullets. These new girls have been in their own coop and get along very well. Fast forward to last week when my new baby chicks outgrew their brooder and needed an outside coop. So, since all 4 hens are the same size I decided to put Henrietta in with the other hens. I did research on how to integrate, and basically got the general response "just put her in there and they will figure it out because they will have to make a new pecking order." So, here is where the fun starts and I need advice.
    First, one of the girls, Agnes, decided that day that she wanted to start being broody. The way the nesting boxes are set up, I can't keep her out of it and collected the eggs ever morning like always. I've been meaning to make a new nesting box area that is enclosed and whatnot but life has been rather hectic lately. She refuses to get out of the nesting box for anything and is starting to poop in it. Out of the 6 boxes available this is the favorite by all 3 of them, so now nobody is laying.
    Second, after watching the hens for a while post integration, everything seemed fine, they just kind of avoided each other. The next morning I go to check on them and my favorite chicken, Blanche has blood on her feet and they look skinned. My husband and I washed her feet off and sprayed some Bactine on them and held her until they dried. She now has decided that she wants to sit in the box next to Agnes and will not come down for anything.
    Dottie, the other of the 3 hens original to this coop has always been top of the pecking order, but not mean. Today while petting Henrietta in an attempt to make her more submissive, Dottie came and pecked at my hand. I feel totally lost here, and I want to keep from my birds hurting each other or making bad habits.
    Aside from building different nesting boxes and removing Henrietta from the coop. What can I do? This makes me so sad. Please help.
     
  2. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Once a hen goes broody, she stops laying and wants to sit on eggs .I have a dozen nesting boxes and no more than three are ever used. I've already gone out and found three hens all sitting in one box at the same time or often two. Sometimes a hen will be in a box while another is waiting to go in and yet there is an empty box right next door, so go figure. The number of nest boxes won't keep anyone from laying. If they have an egg inside it will come out. Just make sure they haven't made a nest on the floor of the coop or somewhere else. Eventually they should work it out.
     
  3. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicken soap opera..... Iam thinking get rid of Henrietta and there will be peace again. She isn't going to get any nicer, face it.
     
  4. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No reason to get rid of her,they will work things out.But,in mthe mean time,you need to start making her nicer.
     
  5. txbelle413

    txbelle413 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2016
    Temple, TX
    How do I do that?
     
  6. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pet her,and shew her every single time she comes at you,or if she even flares.Also,force her into a squatting position.
     
  7. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Atlanta, Georgia
    Food/treats usually work to get the hen more friendly toward you...as does spending time with her (giving her treats). Also let her know you're the boss. If she pecks you, pick her up and semi-gently tap her back with your finger several times while you're holding her...then carry her around for a bit.

    For the broody, if you look around you'll find several threads on how to break it. One of my BR's went broody and I went with the bucket/water method and it worked.
     
  8. txbelle413

    txbelle413 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2016
    Temple, TX
    I give them all treats and try to spend time with them often. I was never able to pick her up or even touch her before she was moved. I suppose I just need to be more persistent and hope for the best. I'm mostly worried about the bleeding feet part. Shoukd we just keep cleaning them and hope they heal well in their own or should we do something different? We talked about using light weight wrap in her feet once they are cleaned or seperating her until she is healed up.
     
  9. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes,continue washing them,and putting ointments on them.
     
  10. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Atlanta, Georgia
    Pics of the feet would help.

    If the bleeding is bad, use styptic powder: https://www.amazon.com/Cardinal-Lab...qid=1467147024&sr=8-1&keywords=styptic+powder

    If the bleeding is stopped, I'd spray her feet with blu-kote: https://www.amazon.com/NAYLOR-BKP-A...=UTF8&qid=1467147062&sr=8-3&keywords=blu+kote

    Blu kote contains is an antibiotic spray that will also turn her feet completely blue (and your fingers...wear gloves)...the blue color will keep the other birds from pecking at her feet.

    Both of these items are really kinda important to have on hand...you WILL use them at some point (I've used them several times in the last few years). Better to have them on hand than to have to order and wait when there's an emergency! I don't think you'll need to wrap the feet, but again pics would be helpful...
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016

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