quarantined for 6 days, now pecking order messed up?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jemjoop, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. Jemjoop

    Jemjoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2007
    Caledonia, IL
    I'm searching through all the related threads but can't find the answer to my problem. I have a bossy hen (No rooster)

    I have 2 blackxlinks and 2 buff orps who grew up together from chicks and came to live with me at 19 weeks. One happy bunch, with a dominant xlink who was sometimes bossy about food and that was it.

    One of the buff orps has been sick and kept inside the house for 6 days. When I check on them at night, the 2 blackxlinks are roosted together and the lone buff orp is alone in a corner so I built her a straw igloo to keep warm as its getting below freezing at night. I want to reintroduce her sister as soon as possible just for warmth's sake.

    Today an hour before sundown I brought the recovered buff orp out to the coop to reintegrate and get used to being a chicken again. Everything went ok at first they pretty much ignored her and went outside to the run and she followed them out. They all got along.

    They went back inside and the bossy xlink became aggressive and attacked the recovered buff orp several times and yanked out a lot of feathers. I stood up to her and the buff orp sulked into a corner and the other two went up to her and made friendly clucking noises. The two buff orps were very friendly toward each other and tried to snuggle down. The bossy xlink immediately swooped over to break them up.

    Have they forgotten her existence or does she have to go through some hazing period with the bossy xlink?

    Do I have to go through the new bird introduction phase where she's separated from them by chicken wire for two weeks?

    Help please-

    (Incidentally, the 3 out in the coop have all matured and the nice xlink has actually been laying for 3 straight days now that she is 21 weeks. The other two have significantly bigger and brighter combs while the quarantined one that was inside has no change, hers are still pale and small)
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2007
  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    You may have to...
    The pecking order can be just as bad as high school...
    You may have to remove the bossy one to shake it up again...
     
  3. IHeartChickens

    IHeartChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 13, 2007
    Pacific NW
    Quote:Wish someone had done that for me in highschool. I would have loved to see "the bossy one" get shaken up a bit. [​IMG]
     
  4. Jemjoop

    Jemjoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2007
    Caledonia, IL
    That is good news, I would love to remove the bossy one. She made me SO angry tonight and she was actually growling at me. The other three get along very well together and they would gang up on her when she used to get too big for her britches and now its all changed.

    She's like Terminator chicken, honestly. She and the other xlink went to roost at dusk and closed their eyes. The 2 orps wanted to roost together in the straw igloo so I set them inside and closed the coop door and then listened outside. Sure enough THUMP down came bossy boots and started stalking the two roosting orps! I took her back inside for the night, she doesn't have the strength for brawls right now.

    (btw I just read the Tutankhamun exhibit is headed to the UK. They are going to love it over there!)
     
  5. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Hmm, Jemjoop, another thought to add to your mix: when our girls matured and started laying, their personalities DID change a bit. Some a LOT. We had this nice, peaceful group and then all of a sudden, right before she started laying, one of the girls' personalities really changed and she began to peck and eat feathers, really aggressive.

    I also have noticed that when one girls is removed, even for a few days, the pecking order needs to be re-established when she comes home.

    So it may be a combination of things you are dealing with there.

    How bad is the bossy one? Is she just doing the stand-up-tall, puff out neck feathers, confrontation thing witha few hard pecks to establish her dominance, or is she actively seeking out the other(s) to peck and eat mouthfuls of feathers?

    Stacey
     
  6. jpearsall1482

    jpearsall1482 New Egg

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    Sep 22, 2007
    I have a very similar problem and am unsure of what to do. I have four hens and no roosters. They all got along quite well without any feather picking. Then one was attacked by a racoon. She survived, but it took about three weeks of nursing in our home. She was scared to death to go back into the pen, but her quills had started growing in and my wife said the poor girl could not continue to live in the house. Now her new quills are all gone and she has some scabs. Its getting cold and I'm afraid she may not be warm enough without her full set of feathers. I had read somewhere that spreading VICKS vapor rub on her bare spots would deter the others from pecking at her, but I'm afraid it might be toxic to the others and her. I really dont have the ability to separate them. Any suggestions on how to deter the others (I really don't know who is doing the pecking) from pulling out her quills?
     
  7. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    The Vicks won't hurt them if they "lick" it off. Give em a nice head rush though.
    Our dear King is coming back to the Big D too...after London, Jemjoop.
     
  8. Blisschick

    Blisschick not rusty

    Feb 20, 2007
    Shepherd, Texas
    when our girls matured and started laying, their personalities DID change a bit. Some a LOT. We had this nice, peaceful group and then all of a sudden, right before she started laying, one of the girls' personalities really changed ...

    Reminds me a lot of my 13 yr. old daughter. It must be the estrogen. [​IMG]
     

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