REALLY bad behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by debd51465, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. debd51465

    debd51465 New Egg

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Iowa
    I have 13 chickens. 3 old hens from 3 yrs ago and 10 from last spring. I also have 1 rooster from this past spring that were in the new batch. I also have 2 geese and 3 ducks that are 3 years old. I have always handled my chickens alot because to me they're pets also. Anyway, I have 1 chicken in particular that is very lovable and likes to sit in my lap and go to sleep and likes to have her head rubbed. She's a buff orphington. Over the course of several months the others have periodically done some very mean things to her. It started out that they wouldn't let her eat or drink from their main food and water supply. She had to stay up on top of some cages that I have in their house and I had to feed and water her there. This last approx. 2 wks. Then I caught daddy goose pinning her to the floor with his beak on her neck. THEN, the next day I went in to feed them and she was so bloodied up I was shocked. When I cleaned her up they had picked out all her back feathers and had chewed through the skin so that all you could see was the muscle underneath. It was so bad that I took her to the vet and had to feed her antibiotics for a week and spray a med on her back. She's in a cage in our basement for now so I could take care of her better. Are chickens ALWAYS like this? I've had them for 3-4 years now and except for a few pulled feathers I've never seen alything like this. They have a very large indoor chicken house for winter and they always have an alphalfa bale and one of those chicken seed blocks to chew on. They get scratch grains and veggie treats. The vet asst. thought it could be beecause she was my favorite but do chickens really KNOW that? Help...what can I do? I know that the rooster is pretty mean and I plan on butchering him as soon as it gets a little warmer but I'm not sure that it's only him.
     
  2. evenstargirl

    evenstargirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2011
    Illinois
    Well, I don't think all chickens are mean like that, but it can definitely happen. My Welsummer hens ganged up terribly on my Orpington hens. Problem solved when I brought in a rooster, who rules his coop very wisely and justly. :) From my experience, once there is blood, they go nuts.

    Butchering your rooster might help your problem. Do you have a separate coop you can keep her in? Maybe keep them separated for a while, and introduce her again once she has healed.
     
  3. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2011
    once any bird gets bullied by another, the entire flock will gang up on her. It sounds like she has been the bottom of the pecking order for a while now and it's just getting more physical. Culling the rooster might help if he is the worst instigator. Don't put her back until she is healed because any sign of blood or weakness and the whole flock is likely to go T-Rex on her.
     

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