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Severe pecking problems from one hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ellawilkinson98, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. ellawilkinson98

    ellawilkinson98 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm 16 and as a reward for finishing my exams I rescued 8 battery hens (who needs flashy jewellery), and despite losing one to illness they are very happy and healthy hens.
    When we first brought them home there was a little more pecking than usual as they settled in, but it settled to just a little here an there to maintain the pecking order.
    However recently one hen has begun pecking the others almost continually on their tails. As they are ex battery they have few feathers anyway, so this is causing bleeding on some of the hens. I first thought it may be boredom- the area in the pen is a large former veg plot, which was overgrown, but now is pretty much cleared. Because of this I have made sure that I give them a little something each day- either corn or left over fruit an veg. But I have read that chickens can get bored if they can't scavenge as much? So today I spent the afternoon in then pen, cleaning out the house and laying out snacks- I put a mash of carrots, apples and cabbage into egg boxes, turned them upside down and cut the tops off the individual cups so the hens could find the mash. They devoured it in minutes. They love mash. I also strung up cabbage leaves from various places in the run for them to find.
    But this one hen was still pecking the others, sometimes quite aggressively.
    I have separated her now from the rest in a smaller makeshift run, with food and water. She is perfectly happy and healthy, but is there some way I can stop her pecking the others???
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    How much room is provided for them in the coop and run area?
    Unfortunately, due to the conditions under which they are kept, battery hens can develop some undesirable habits. Some come around, others do not.
    I would keep her separated for a bit and then try a reintroduction to see if the problem reoccurs.
     
  3. ellawilkinson98

    ellawilkinson98 Out Of The Brooder

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    It is a converted garden shed for the coop, and I'm not sure about the run but it's probably around 6 metres by 10/12? I am just with the hens and she appears to be eating the feathers she pulls off??
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  4. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Ella,

    I believe I would separate the hen for a few days to a week into a cage, in the midst of the chicken's henhouse if the day temp is all right there. This will take down her pecking order status some without making her a complete outcast- as she would likely be if separated where the others could not see her at all.

    Also, I would use a product on any hen's bleeding or raw looking areas called, "Blue Kote." This is am inexpensive germicide, and the color helps to disguise red areas so they don't want to peck it make it worse. It also tastes bad, so it trains chickens not to peck those red areas.

    If you decide not to remove the pecking hen, put the Blue Kote on everyone's rear (plus bad areas) and put a dab on her beak end. They don't like the taste at all, so she should get trained pretty quickly not to peck anything with that on it. I would do it everyday until things improve. I have had good luck when they are on the roost at night to apply the product. However, BK is very messy, stains, so you might want to consider gloves and old clothes. Good luck!
     
  5. ellawilkinson98

    ellawilkinson98 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much[​IMG] can you buy Blue Kote online?
     
  6. Fancypants1

    Fancypants1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello, I just went thru same thing. I moved the bully hen into another area of the yard (where they could not see each other) and kept her in there for a little over a week (10 day). Moved her back in and the pecking has stopped. The pecking order was changed. She was pecking one of my polish hens so bad that she was almost bald and bleeding. She still tries to peck but not nearly as much.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Put Neosporin on the pecked hens wound and give it time to heal.

    Good Luck!!
     
  7. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes. Also, local feed stores, Many local Pet Supply stores have it too. Should be about $8. a bottle. Lasts a good amount of time.

    If you use Neosporin, don't use any that has any "caine" painkillers in the ingrediants. Those are toxic to chickens.
     
  8. ellawilkinson98

    ellawilkinson98 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you both so much[​IMG] I will separate the hen from the rest and try to get Blue Kote and see how they go
     
  9. Fancypants1

    Fancypants1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used the Neosporin from CVS/Walmart ect....
     

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