Silver Laced Wyanadott getting beat up

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RichnSteph, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We picked up a SLW hen a few weeks ago that had been treated badly by multiple roosters in her original flock. When we added her to our flock, along with a couple others, she fit right in and was doing well regardless of the amount of feathers that she's missing from previous treatment. Last week she bruised her foot in a startled exit from the coop and since then she's been off by herself kind of doing her own thing. Yesterday when I got home I had to rescue her from our rooster who was trying to *ahem* and she was having none of it. After I got that all taken care of then the other hens began pecking her and chasing her all over the place. So she spent last night in the house in a crate with food and water. This morning when I put her back outside she refused to go into the coop with the other chickens and instead tried to get under the coop to hide.

    Best way to address this? Bring her inside until she's healed up and has all her feathers back?

    RichnSteph
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    First, I'm not sure why you had to "rescue" her from the rooster mating her? That's a perfectly normal thing. It's his job to establish dominance over the entire flock.

    I'd try leaving her with the flock. She's already gotten established in the ranking, and removing her now is just going to force her to re-establish her place when you re-introduce her. If you have enough space, and maybe some hiding places, the other hens should leave her alone. Once she submits to the rooster, he'll also be motivated to keep the peace with her and the other hens. I've had roosters physically get between hens in cases like this and push them apart, forcing the aggressor to submit to him and leave the other bird alone.
     
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  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    This ^
     
  4. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The problem isn't the rooster doing what he's supposed to do. It'd the fact that he beats her up and that makes the other hens do the same. She isn't eating much because every time she goes near the feed dishes they all run her off. I made a box for her in the coop to hide in at night so she can keep warm, the other hens make her sleep alone at the end of the roost and with her missing so many feathers I'm afraid she'll catch a chill. We'll leave her in the flock as you advise and keep an eye on her. If she was more tame I could feed her by hand but so far she's the only one that we can't pick up and hold or hand feed.

    Thank you.
    RichnSteph
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Can you put out another feeding and watering station or two? That could help. Do they free range? Does she have plenty of room to escape and maybe some hiding places to go to? You could lean a pallet up against the run fence, or something simple like that, just to break the line of vision. The problem with removing her, as Donrae said, is that she'll have to go through the whole reestablishing of the pecking order all over again. If they're not drawing blood or pinning her to the ground to attack, I'd leave her.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    From your first post, I had the impression she'd already established herself in the flock and today was an isolated incident. This is normal time of year for a bird to molt and be nekked. Even without huddling with other birds they're fine. And, you're in Texas [​IMG]. No offense, but what you consider cold is balmy to the rest of us. Just make sure she had hiding places like bobbi-j described and I think she'll be fine.
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I totally missed that the OP is in Texas. Yeah, she won't catch a chill. And given time, she'll find her place within the flock.
     
  8. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm going to partition off a part of the run tomorrow and give her her own feeder and waterer. My biggest concern is that she doesn't seem to get to eat like I feel she should. I'll also build in a few places to hide. We're adding in some outside roosts and some more activity minded things for the birds (a swing, a lettuce ball hanging from a tree, things like that) this weekend so I hope they'll all find something else to peck at. We are also going to let them free range the acre that we are on for a few hours, supervised of course, over the next few days. She is an established member of half the flock and it's the other half (we combined two flocks) that are giving her problems. The wife and I spent 18 months up at Devils Lake North Dakota so we know what cold really is but this is our first time with chickens in any weather and I wasn't sure if she'd be ok in 50 degrees or not. Yeah we're kind of attached to them already.... they even have names so they are more pets than livestock. *laugh*

    RichnSteph
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    If you partition off part of the run, do you think there is one or two you could put in with her? She might be happier with some company since they are flock animals. Then she wont have to re-integrate all by herself, either. Free ranging will help, too. It will give everyone something else to think about.
     
  10. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When we partition the run I can put the gold laced one in there with her since she seems to be the only one that isn't mean. Just a personal opinion but chickens are @$$holes. They are sooooo mean! Lacy is the most abused, beat up, unattractive, featherless thing out there and the others just gang up on her. We let them free range for several hours today and the rooster actually herded her into the rest of the flock and things were great until he decided to do his thing to her. Then she just disappeared..... we found her huddled under a massive wood pile and put her back in the run with the rest. Well ol Dr. Pete decided it was time for some more mating fun and was on her over and over and over and over. Each time he mounted her one of the other hens would run in and peck the fire out of her. At one point I heard someones beak hit her head so hard that it made a "thunk" sound like you'd get if you thumped a watermelon. Well that crap has stopped. She is now inside the house in a bin we set up for her. Poor thing is so hungry and so scared that I had to show her that it's ok to eat. I put about 4oz of BSF larvae in a bowl for her and after showing her what it was she inhaled all of them. ALL OF THEM! I then had to put her beak in the waterer and she stood there for probably 2 minutes drinking. A few hours later I did the same procedure and she ate and drank till full and then laid down in the corner with her head hidden. I understand that our options at this point are to either have a pet chicken or a dead chicken, I'll take the pet thank you very **** much. I'm making her a run for herself tomorrow with her own feeder and waterer. At night she stays in the house until her feathers are back and she isn't limping.


    This is how she looks right now and it breaks my heart to see her abused like this. I'm confident that once she gets her feathers back, is able to walk properly again and has put on some weight that she'll be able to settle herself back into the pecking order. Right now she's at the bottom and destined to death if we don't do something to help.
    [​IMG]

    RichnSteph
     

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