"runt" chick getting picked on

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MysteryChik, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. MysteryChik

    MysteryChik Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have ten pullets and cockerals. (4 hens and 6 cockerals) and their mother Granny. They were all hatched at the same time, but the smallest one, which is a hen, we call "runt." She was getting picked on and we didn't know by who. We noticed the top of her head had been pecked the other day so bad it was bleeding and almost "laid open". we took all the males out, only to find out it was Granny (her mother) that is the one picking on here. Any way to stop it? Coop and run definitely large enough, so I know that isn't the issue.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Sometimes when there's something wrong with a bird others will attack it. It a natural instincts to keep a flock strong and remove anyone who is diseased, since your chick is a runt there's probably something wrong or odd about it that is triggering the instinct. Removing the runt is an option, or removing the hen.
     
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:
    The only sure way to protect Runt is to make a Chicken pot pie out of Granny. I don't think that you are willing to do that so there are various methods that you can employ to bully the Mama hen yourself and by bullying her force Granny into viewing you as the Alpha chicken. The shortcomings of these methods is that they generally only work as long as you are standing there. The Mama hen has weaned her children as it were and one of them (the one you call Runt) hasn't got the message yet. The moment that a hen is through squiring her chicks around she never looks back or acknowledges her mother-child relationship with any of her babies ever again. I know that it sounds cruel or heartless to you and me but it is what it is.
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 25, 2012
    Quote:
    The only sure way to protect Runt is to make a Chicken pot pie out of Granny. I don't think that you are willing to do that so there are various methods that you can employ to bully the Mama hen yourself and by bullying her force Granny into viewing you as the Alpha chicken. The shortcomings of these methods is that they generally only work as long as you are standing there. The Mama hen has weaned her children as it were and one of them (the one you call Runt) hasn't got the message yet. The moment that a hen is through squiring her chicks around she never looks back or acknowledges her mother-child relationship with any of her babies ever again. I know that it sounds cruel or heartless to you and me but it is what it is.
     
  5. MysteryChik

    MysteryChik Chillin' With My Peeps

    wow, I didn't realize they didn't look back or acknowledge the relationship anymore. Yes, I can't make a potpie out of Granny. She's the only laying hen we have now! thanks for your advice
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    If there is blood on her head, it may help to spray with something like Blue Kote. The other chickens are less likely to pick at her then. It could be that Granny is trying to wean her and she hasn't gotten the message, or it could be that there is something wrong with her (likely, since she isn't growing like the rest of the flock).
     
  7. MysteryChik

    MysteryChik Chillin' With My Peeps

    I will def try the blue Kote. What could be wrong with her? I assume probably could be any list of things?
     
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Sometimes they just fail to thrive.
     
  9. MysteryChik

    MysteryChik Chillin' With My Peeps

    does that mean they won't thrive, and should be gotten rid of?
     
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    It could mean anything but if you have one bird in a flock that is always being picked on, it's not the flock's fault....invariably that bird has an internal issue that will cause it to sicken, die under stress and/or be a likely target for parasites, but rarely does it have a good life or a good end. Best to cull that one before you start feeling sorry for it and wanting to preserve it at all costs. Granny is not the problem, she's doing her job well.
     
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