Reintegrating injured hen w/flock - help

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mcclucker, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. mcclucker

    mcclucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 5 hens - all 9 months old. They grew up together. A week ago we had a hawk attack that injured one of the lower pecking order birds. I kept her in a pen in the garage until she was healed - there isn't a visible wound anymore. Now I'm trying to get her back with the flock and the bird just above her in the pecking order won't leave her alone.

    I tried putting the injured bird in a dog crate with the others in the run so they could interact and that went fine but as soon as I put them all together she gets pecked and chased. She's acting really scared.

    Other ideas? How long does it normally take to reintegrate a hen? She was injured once before and I did the same thing - and within a few hours she was back just fine but they were still pullets then (plus I had a rooster). It took a week of "hospital pen" treatment for her to heal and she had the lowest bird in the pecking order in there with her the last two days because she was upset and lonely. The others are leaving the lowest bird alone completely and just focusing their attacks on the injured one :(
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    It's normal for chickens to try to drive out sick or injured members, so they are acting normal. It can help to keep her penned longer, and figure it will take more time. I would use some wire to make a separation pen, especially if your crate is more solid, so she can be seen more.

    Sometimes pulling aggressive chickens can help, and swapping this one and that one. It's best to have a separation pen within the coop so members are never removed to avoid troubles. She just may need to heal longer and be separated for a bit more, but within the coop.
     
  3. mcclucker

    mcclucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! The dog crate is one of those wire ones so they can see and interact with her easily. I wanted to keep her in a warmer place while she recuperated - I can do some heat in the garage. (I'm in a very cold climate) but swapping out chickens is a good idea. I can put the main offender in "jail" and see if that helps too.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I too am in a colder climate. Birds not used to a heated area can be stressed by it so I don't remove mine. Hopefully removing the top offender works, and the rest behave themselves.
     
  5. mcclucker

    mcclucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That makes sense. The heat was a little poultry heating pad she could sit on- not like full on human style warmth :) she was in some shock the first night and I wanted her to be as comfortable as possible.
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Than you were correct in using it. I didn't think about providing heat like that, very smart. Sometimes I forget about all the used for those heaters.
     

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