should I separate the hen until she fully recovers??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chicchick, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. chicchick

    chicchick Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 6, 2009
    Eastern Massachusetts
    My SLW got attacked by a hawk about 3 weeks ago. The gash is healed from that, BUT it coincided with or brought on her first molt. She was in her own small coop for the first 10 days while she recooperated. But she clearly wanted to be in the big run and the big coop with the other 3 girls. PROBLEM: The other 3 hens are picking on her. Before the hawk and the molt, she held her own and there was no pecking or mean-girl stuff. But now they peck her neck and keep her away from the food ( I have 2 feeders out) and bug her when she goes to a quiet corner to roost. She cowers away from them and I get the feeling she isn't resting and eating as well as she would if she were back in her own small coop (right next to the the others - she can see them).

    1) Should I keep her on her own until the feathers fill out over her neck and she is 100% spunky?
    2) Does keeping her apart make the mean-girl stuff worse?

    I know chickens will be chickens, but there was a healthy balance before the hawk attack and now that she is weaker, the balance is off. Will we get it back?
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I would keep her by herself until she is fully refeathered. Then put her in the main pen with your least aggressive hen and put the other two in the "hospital" pen. Once she and the first hen have worked things out (a matter of days), add another hen to the mix. Then when things settle down add the final hen.
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    If both girls are picking on her move them to the smaller part and leave her in the one they are sharing now, also might just remove one of the hens to see what happens. Sometimes that upset the pecking order just enough to straighten things out. worth a try. yep what sourland said. [​IMG]
  4. TajMahalChickens

    TajMahalChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    One thing that works for me is what I call the dog crate method. I put the injured hen in a dog crate within the coop the rest of the hens live in (i.e. the coop she lived in before she was injured). This way, the injured hen can recover without being pecked & having to fight for food and water, and the other hens don't forget who she is. It make putting her back into the flock a lot easier.

    She cowers away from them and I get the feeling she isn't resting and eating as well as she would if she were back in her own small coop (right next to the the others - she can see them)

    I know you mentioned that she can "see" them. If seeing them means having a little piece of plexi glass between her and the others, then I don't think that is ideal enough. But if their is a nice large area with chicken wire separating the two rooms, well-a! you have your "dog crate" all ready there!

    Whether it is a dog crate or your other coop, she won't like being in there. well, she has to get used to it. After a few days, she will settle down and get used to her new home.

    No matter what, keep her separated. Like you said, she is not getting the food or rest that she needs. if you left her in the main coop, eventually your other hens will bloody her.

    Good luck:)

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