Sick hen back, pecking order out of whack (help)

WVchikinz

In the Brooder
Apr 9, 2020
15
17
36
Hello, we need some advice on our flock's behavior.
We have 6 ISA brown hens. Last week one was very lethargic and constantly drinking. We brought her in for a few days and gave her electrolytes, etc.
After a few days she seemed much better we brought her back to the flock. Unfortunately she's being picked on pretty badly by almost all of the other hens. She's keeping her distance and today she started just staying inside the coop.
Is this normal behavior? How long does it last? Is there anything we can do? I know that we disrupted the pecking order but I would have thought it would be fixed by now.
There's not blood from the pecking but she's shying away from the food and water until we get her alone. We're very concerned.
Thanks.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,370
38,430
1,142
Colorado Rockies
Your flock appears to believe this hen is still suffering from illness. If she were back to normal, she would be able to stand up for herself. The other hens sense she's weak and maybe still sick and are trying to follow the instinct to drive an infirm member out of the flock.

Constantly drinking can be from a blockage caused by impacted crop, gizzard or stuck egg. Is she having a watery discharge from her vent? Is it heavily laced with white urates? If so, she could have a blocked crop or stuck egg. Feel her crop for over fullness, lumpy material. Check her vent for active pulses that indicate she may be trying to expel the blockage.
 

WVchikinz

In the Brooder
Apr 9, 2020
15
17
36
Your flock appears to believe this hen is still suffering from illness. If she were back to normal, she would be able to stand up for herself. The other hens sense she's weak and maybe still sick and are trying to follow the instinct to drive an infirm member out of the flock.

Constantly drinking can be from a blockage caused by impacted crop, gizzard or stuck egg. Is she having a watery discharge from her vent? Is it heavily laced with white urates? If so, she could have a blocked crop or stuck egg. Feel her crop for over fullness, lumpy material. Check her vent for active pulses that indicate she may be trying to expel the blockage.
Thank you for your advice.
As far as we can tell she seems ok. We've checked her poop, crop and vent. She was egg bound earlier in the fall and managed to pass it. We thought that was the issue at first.
She seems relatively normal, especially compared to when she was ill last time. Just very skiddish around the others.
She is eating and drinking fine. We give her some when she's holed up in the coop by herself.
I figure at least she's around the flock and has a place to retreat. They all sleep together on the same roost with no problems.
We'll check her crop, etc again tomorrow.
Thanks again and happy new year!
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
25,370
38,430
1,142
Colorado Rockies
She could be harboring a chronic reproductive infection from when she had the egg issues. Any yolk left in the oviduct can begin growing bacteria. This can go on for quite some time before a hen begins to show signs of unwellness.

As long as she's behaving normally, though, her problem with the flock may just be a temporary fluctuation in the pecking order. If this is what's happening, it should resolve itself shortly.
 

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
973
1,817
246
San Luis Obispo County, CA
This happens with my girls. Anytime I need to separate one for any reason (once after surgery that involved living inside for two weeks, and now I’ve got an EE who was already low in the pecking order going through a heavy molt (so have been bringing her in at night and separating her during the day to give her feathers a chance to grow in without her sisters pestering her).
I’ve been letting my EE out in the main coop/run, but she runs in terror into the coop and stays up on the perch. She’s kind of a big baby anyway (still tucks herself under my arm when I sit with them as if she’s still a chick), and I’m sure the molting hormones aren’t helping ...
Anyhoo, I expect things will return to normal eventually, but I’ll be limiting her time in with everyone until they start to back off. Sometimes it just takes a while for them to remember she‘s part of the flock :confused: . Hopefully that’s what’s going on with yours.
 

WVchikinz

In the Brooder
Apr 9, 2020
15
17
36
We went out this morning and she's still active, yet hiding in the coop. We found this egg in the nest box and we're hoping it's hers since she hasn't laid in over a week :
16094291713445761164111160729635.jpg
 

StopTheWorldIWantToGetOff

In the Brooder
Jul 24, 2020
25
17
44
East of England, UK, Europe
She is eating and drinking fine. We give her some when she's holed up in the coop by herself.
Could you provide more than one food and water station so that she can access it in the run? I did this when one of my hens was being picked on and it gave her a chance to eat and drink without being hassled. Or even more than 2 depending on how big your flock/run is? I read somewhere on here about putting it out of sight of the other feeder if possible.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom