Rhode Island Hen under attack.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by donnaboydjones, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. donnaboydjones

    donnaboydjones Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a 1 1/2 year old RIR hen and this is the 3rd time in the past 6mths, that she has been attacked so badly and this time was the worse with part of her comb mangled, back of head and neck feathers completely gone. By the time I noticed her running yesterday in the yard, the blood was just pouring down her face. I immediately separated her from the flock and you could tell even though she had been under attack, she was bothered by being away the others. I can not tell who is hurting her. I know it's not the pullets , but the 3 hens that are her age. Of all my chickens , she is the only RIR. The rest are Americauna's and Russian Orloffs. I'm not sure if it's because she has the red comb that they keep going after, but I worry for her life. Does ANYONE heve any idea why this keeps happening? It seems I get her all healed and put back to the flock that all is well for a couple months and then all heck breaks loose and she is their target. If I can't figure out how to keep harmony, I need to find her a home, even though she's my husbands favorite and lays the best eggs out of them all.
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    She must be on the bottom of the pecking order. If you have time, you really need to just set a spell, and watch the flock. Truly observe them for at least an hour, and I'll bet you'll discover who the agressor is.

    Then I would re-home that agressive hen, OR, put her in time out for a week. (In a cage, away from the flock), because then, she will come back as a newbie, and she will not be so high up on the pecking order.

    Once blood is drawn, that red color can just send chickens into a frenzy....I would spray her comb and wounds with Blue Cote. It is bright blue, but chickens generally aren't attracted to that color, so they'll leave her alone to heal.....

    It's the one thing about chickens that I just don't like........
  3. mgw

    mgw Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Eastern Wa.
    Is she the bottom of the pecking order? Have you ever witnessed an attack on her? Is it only one attacking her or a whole group? Lots of times there is nothing that can be done about it, chickens do what chickens do full time. It is something you will have to put up with, hope you do not have to find her a new home! Maybe someone else will chime in with a solution to this problem! Good luck
  4. donnaboydjones

    donnaboydjones Chillin' With My Peeps

    She wasn't on the bottom before her hen friend was taken away by a eagle over the summer. Before that I use to call her my naughty hen. All the adult hens have been together since October of last year and the pullets since Easter of this year. Other then the RIR getting hurt ,everyone one got along great, but in the past (after the friend hen was taken) it was the one ,Black colored Americauna who was attacking her( I also thought it was the rooster, but couldn't be sure if he was attacking or trying to get freaky) and I did separate the Americauna from them all for 2 days, but I let her back cause the rooster was freaking out that one of his women was on the other side. I also before when she had wounds apply the blue coat to her coomb. I don't want to get rid of the RIR, I just don't like seeing her all beat up, but I'm going to take your advice to sit awhile and watch whos doing it and either try separating her or find HER the new home.
    I truly appreciate you two taking the time to repond to me.
  5. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Hey, I used to go on vacation on Whidbey Island. Small World.

    Yes the bully thing is awful. I'm down to just two hens and the Jersey Giant was really starting to wale on the Buff Orpington. The BO is very docile and timid and molting and was simply not getting enough to eat.

    So I resorted to a pinless peeper on the JG:


    You can order them online or some stores may sell them. They can be a challenge to put on. I had to have someone else do it for me. She didn't like it at first but quickly accepted it. It prevents her from seeing what's in front of her and with in a day, we had a HUGE improvement. No more bullying and the BO is eating. And peace and harmony exist again in my flock.

    So it's worth considering. Especially, if you can't bring yourself to give away the bully. We LOVE LOVE LOVE our Jersey Girl. She's very sweet and very entertaining. I could never give her away.
  6. mamadukes5

    mamadukes5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2011
    Easthampton, Mass
    My two RIR used to be the bullies of my flock. They picked on the two little black sex-links I had constantly, wouldnt let them near the food or the water and tried to chase them out of the hen house every night when I went to lock them up. I spent two days sitting out in the run with them, and every time they started acting cranky, I'd pick them up and tell them to knock it off. My neighbors thought I was a bit off, but after that couple of days they stopped being so mean. They liked me picking them up less than they liked picking on the little ones. Now one of the blacks thinks she's in charge of the whole place and I had to sit out there yesterday doing the same thing to her so she'd quit messing with the smaller ones I hatched in early September. I spent half an hour out there every morning standing in between the two feeders so the little ones could hide behind me and eat and I chased the big girls back away from them if they tried to chase the babies away from the food. The rooster doesn't seem to care one way or the other, but my bigger hens go through mean streaks where they are just bullies. If they hadn't stopped acting so mean, I would have gotten rid of them. I keep chickens because I enjoy watching them (and for the eggs) and I do not enjoy watching them be mean.
  7. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Quote:It's too bad we can't Rent-A-Roo for a week or two. Just long enough to put our girls in their place and get everyone getting along once again. And then move him on before the neighbors complain about the crowing.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by