Roostet getting in on pecking order??

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by moni821, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. moni821

    moni821 New Egg

    4
    0
    9
    Apr 14, 2016
    Rehoboth, Massachusetts
    Hi,

    I recently had a chicken who fell ill so I had isolated her and nursed her back to health. I have been trying to reintroduce her to her former flock, and the other chickens are being especially vicious towards her. Today, two chickens cornered her while one hopped on her back and drew blood from her comb while pecking at her head. The oddest thing was that one of my roosters joined in and pecked her as well. Has anyone ever had a rooster join in when trying to restore pecking order??? I would like to note that I currently have two roosters in that same run (it is fairly large) and almost 30 hens. The rooster who pecked her is the less dominant rooster.

    I once again removed her as I was afraid that they would kill her. I'm just curious as to whether the chickens sense something off with the her that I am not aware of, or if they're being especially aggressive because I haven't been allowing them to free range all over my yard for the last two weeks or so as they trash my new spring flower growth (thinking maybe they're just agitated and cranky). Any insight would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. 0wen

    0wen Chillin' With My Peeps

    654
    83
    111
    Mar 25, 2016
    Southwest Virginia
    How long was she isolated from the flock? If it's been a while they likely won't view her as part of the flock and you'll not be able to just toss her back in with them without aggression. If she's weak and recovering (or still showing signs of illness/weakness) that will only make things worse..

    I'd suggest reintroducing her slowly.
     
  3. moni821

    moni821 New Egg

    4
    0
    9
    Apr 14, 2016
    Rehoboth, Massachusetts
    Hi Owen, thanks for the reply. She was isolated for almost two weeks as I had her on antibiotics. She seems fine to me now, scratching around in the large dog crate I have her in and making her usual chicken noises. I put her in at night one night, and peeking through the window I could see the other chickens pecking her on the pole. I took her out that night and decided to try again two days later (yesterday). I put her in again last night, only I turned their heat lamp off so they couldn't see her. This morning when I let them out in the run and observed, was when I witnessed them bullying her again. Should I try introducing her at night and then letting them out of the run in the morning so they're not as defensive of their food or something?
     
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    84,499
    3,826
    646
    Jun 15, 2012
    Washington
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    31,554
    24,104
    736
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    85,410
    16,304
    866
    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Chickens are like pack animals, they will attack one or another for almost any reason and kill it if given the chance. They've had too many chances at trying to hurt her. Please read about the "Look but, don't touch method." of integration. Secondly putting her in at night - only means you won't see them going after her and she could be dead by morning. This is beyond pecking order - they don't want her because she is a stranger to them. Pecking can quickly turn to cannibalism - I'm sure you don't want that to happen.
     
  7. moni821

    moni821 New Egg

    4
    0
    9
    Apr 14, 2016
    Rehoboth, Massachusetts
    Thanks for the warm welcome everyone :) Glad to join the community! I really appreciate all of the suggestions, I will absolutely give them a try! I've integrated new hens before, but never just a single hen. I didn't realize there would be such a difference. I certainly don't want to wake up or come home to her dead : / Thanks again!!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by