Second (or third, or fourth) chance? Or into the soup pot?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Uzuri, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Uzuri

    Uzuri Songster

    Mar 25, 2009
    So all this time I thought it was ol' rooster (now given away) who was making my girls bare. The coming of my youngin's has just opened my eyes to the fact that I have a SERIOUSLY mean hen.

    About two weeks ago I pulled my Javas out of the henhouse while I integrated the little ones because the Javas were the only ones going after the small ones violently -- the Wellies and the 'Dottes were satisfied with the occasional "Hey, that's mine!" peck. I also DE'd about that time, because I was worried that I might have a lice problem (now I don't think I did), because everybody seemed a little low on feathers, and Rooster has been gone long enough that I'd have expected *some* improvement, even if they didn't all grow back.

    Anyhow, end of last week I was pleased to see feathers growing back! And the little ones mixing with the four big ones still left out with them. Even the Javas, consigned to the garage, were growing feathers on their bare patches. Life in the henhouse was blissful, calm.

    Fast forward to this weekend and I FINALLY finish my new run. That was the day I planned to start bringing the Javas back, due to the increase in space. I put the first one in, and she made a dive at my new Buff, who dodged (thanks to almost 3x as much run as she had before), and I chalked it up to the Java still not being comfortable with the little ones. Bossy dove in and gave the Java the evil eye, tried to keep her on the straight and narrow, and it looked like it was going to hold.

    24 hours later and all the old hens who had grown back feathers are missing all the new ones again, and the Buff's starting to look a little ragged, too (the young 'Dottes are like little roadrunners, so somehow they were managing to stay clear of this #$%[email protected]) and all I can do is figure that it's got to be the Java -- either doing the damage herself or stirring things up into fights.

    So I pulled her out and put her on death row.

    Does this seem like the appropriate response? I'm tired of naked chickens, and it sure seems like she's the one causing the problem. She's also only a mediocre layer, and she likes to lay in the grass a lot.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2010
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Yes. I won't tolerate a mean hen who featherpecks. I had one last year and she was really mean....pecked a bald spot on all my chickens, on their backs just above the tail I gave her to a friend with the warning that she was mean. They had a huge farm, and I don't, so I think maybe it'll be OK for her. But, if I knew how to process a chicken, I would have dispatched the mean old hen myself.

    I agree with your decision! One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch, and stress them out too! And besides, I like my chickens to look pretty.....
  3. Uzuri

    Uzuri Songster

    Mar 25, 2009
    Yeah, I'm really, really tired of naked hens.

    I was supposed to be learning to process in September, but I think I might be trying to track down my teacher before then!
  4. Oven Ready

    Oven Ready Songster

    May 9, 2010
    I vote Soup.

    The little chicks will pick up on the behaviour and will become featherpluckers themselves.

    We had a nasty hen once, she killed a few chicks and blinded a couple of others so she got the chop, a few weeks later her offspring started doing the same thing so they too kept an appointment with Mister Machete.

    It's just not worth the hassle to have a troubled flock.
  5. mchl

    mchl Chirping

    Jul 30, 2010
    get a book on the processing. I did 31 for the fist time this year ,"cornish cross" it was work but not hard. I can do em prety quick now:/
  6. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    I agree with soup!

    We had two pickers and thought that with increased protein, they would stop. Boy were we wrong. They just kept right on doing it. I finally told hubby that they had to go. Now, finally, after 4 months of the pickers being gone, my bare backed girls are looking back to normal.

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