Severely pecked chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by nandmsmom, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. nandmsmom

    nandmsmom New Egg

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    Feb 8, 2014
    I've had chickens for about 4 years, with this being the first I've had what is for me a larger number. I have 16 hens. They are in an enclosed coop with a good sized run and I'm in Mass, so lots of snow and cold. This morning, one of my girls was bloody with feathers missing, trying to hide in corners to get away from the other hens. I brought her in, cleaned her up, put bacitracin on her and fed and watered her. After an hour or so, I put her back.
    They went after her again. So, a friend suggested I get blue coat for her. I went to the feed store, got blue coat and some pecking blocks. The owner suggested adding mash to their pellets, so that they would have to work harder to get their food, and hopefully it would relieve some of the pecking issues. I got her cleaned up again. Painted the blue on, got it all over me and the bathroom, what a mess! I put her back in and 4 of them attacked her viciously. With blue on their beaks, they continued to go after her. The poor thing flew at me to get her away from them and she is now in my bathroom again.
    I don't know what to do. I would like to keep her inside until she heals up a bit, but don't know if that will just cause worse reintroduction issues. Any suggestions? The blocks and feed changes have not had a chance to work, but I can't put her back in and let them kill her in the meantime.

    Thanks,
    Heather
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She needs to stay away from them until she completely heals. Hens will peck weak, sick, non laying, and injured members of the flock. When she is completely healed you would have to slowly reintroduce her to the flock. Plastic fencing between them works great.
     
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    These situations are difficult. I would have suggested Blu-Kote as the plan A as well, since chickens are automatically attracted to pecking at blood. Poor hen, she may be the bottom of the pecking order. Give her a few days of isolation at least for the wounds to scab over and heal. A lot of people suggest reintroducing by placing the hen in a pet carrier or dog kennel within the coop (with her own food and water), so they can see each other but not touch each other. I would still use the Blu-kote to obscure the scabs when you return her. I'm not sure how long she would have to be in the separate crate. When I reintroduced a hen after an illness, I chose to do it after the others were already roosting for the night to reduce confrontation. In this case she did not need to be separated in a crate because a few of the other hens were just chasing her. But the chasing seemed to decrease over a few days.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
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  4. pound4pound

    pound4pound Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2014
    watching, wild and free!
    foreverlearning is right. the hen must be isolated first.


    in my rules she'll be isolated for treatment and in a quiet place so that her confidence will build up and that will make her healing faster..electrolytes and b+ vitamins. you could use neosporin for chicken wounds.

    reintroduction to the flock will continue the beatings so you you must decide to keep the peace. butcher the disturber of the peace or let the beatings continue? your decision..
     
  5. pound4pound

    pound4pound Out Of The Brooder

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    watching, wild and free!
    it will promote stress to your flock since there is beatings and chases. while the hen is on the mend, the flock should have electrolytes to keep the stress off as well.


    try to reintroduce her at night when hens are on the roost. and give it a week..if the beatings continue, pen the perpetrator..or destine it to pot.:D
     
  6. nandmsmom

    nandmsmom New Egg

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    Feb 8, 2014
    Thanks for the replies. My plan is to keep her inside until she heals. I'll have to go and get some added electrolytes for them. I put vinegar in their water daily, but it sounds like they need something else. There are 2 hens that are ready for the pot because of age and lack of laying. I'll take them in to slaughter next Saturday and see if she is ready for reintroduction that night. That will upset their pecking order anyway, and I'm hoping it will give her half a chance. If not, she will probably end up in the pot next. It wasn't just one going after her, it was multiple girls.
     
  7. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree if the aggressor doesn't stop they need to be taken away from the flock somehow (either go to another flock or to the stock pot). While the injured one is healing there is enough time to see if the other measures you have taken work on getting the aggressor to stop. If she doesn't you may have to consider other measures.
     
  8. eggspectation

    eggspectation Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have one sweet hen that has no feathers on her wings. I keep painting her with blueknote but it doesn't stop her from getting pecked. I know I need to isolate her, but since it is so cold I want her to have the other'body heat ro kewp her warm.
     
  9. OLTMR123

    OLTMR123 New Egg

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    Rather than kill her for being picked on why not just give her to someone else? Poor thing
     
  10. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2,give her to someone else if the attacks do not stop. Keep her separate until wounds heal,then before reintroducing her to flock,bring in one(or two) of your other docile hens,see if they get along often if you can pair them up with a friend,it will prevent or stop the constant pecking/attacking of other birds. If you figure out who the instigator is,remove her/them for a couple of days. You might have a couple of "mean"girls that need an attitude adjustment.

    Whenever a chicken is wounded,all the others will attack,this is just how chickens are we don't call them "raptors" for nothing.
     

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