they are picking on my baby(chicken)...need advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Aspen Meadow chiq, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Aspen Meadow chiq

    Aspen Meadow chiq Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I need help....I have 6 hens. 2 leghorns came first. then came the 2 reds. These 4 came from the same hen house, are all laying almost daily and seem very content.
    Then I brought home 2 pullets. They are buffs. They were almost full-grown then (2 months ago) and have now started laying. Everyone was getting along fine until about 2 weeks ago
    when the leghorns started ganging up on my pet buff. She is very friendly, likes to be held, petted, eats out of my hand, etc. We can't understand why they are picking on her so much
    now. Her comb is almost gone and as of yesterday, she's losing her feathers on her head above her eye. No blood there yet but the poor thing!!! We don't really have a way to separate
    them in this cold weather so we're just not sure what to do. I'm thinking it's time to eat the leghorns but they lay eggs every day, even in 5 degree weather, so I really don't want to.
    I read somewhere on here that once there is blood, the others will pick at it. How do we cover her head so they won't see the scabs? do I need to bring her in the house? The other buff
    hen has some blood on her comb tonight but not as much. is it time for stewed leghorn?

    Thanks for any help you can give me.
     
  2. EmtheFishLady

    EmtheFishLady We're all mad here

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    I'd say bring the ones being picked on in.As long as they are separated from the aggressors.
     
  3. tennesseeckn

    tennesseeckn Real or not real?

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    I totally sympathize. I wish I had a permanent solution for you. I can tell you what's working for me now, though.

    I have a sickly little girl that was being continually attacked and not allowed to eat. This is my solution until I get her weight back up so she'll have a fighting chance. During the day she is in her own pen with her own food and water and heat lamp. The others can see her, they can "talk" to her, but they can't hurt her or stop her from eating. At dusk I put her back in the big pen when everyone is mellow and just looking for a warm place to roost. I also keep her coated in Blu-Kote to help deter the pecking, too. So far we have an uneasy peace. I've not tried leaving her in all day for a while, now. I might try one day next week. [​IMG]

    I've also heard that if you coat the one getting picked on with pine tar the others will get a mouthful and stop. I bought some but couldn't figure out how to get it on her. I imagined her walking around with pine shaving and poo stuck to her.

    You should make sure the rest are getting enough protein and make sure they are not just bored. If they aren't getting out because of weather it can lead to picking problems.

    Good Luck.
     
  4. Aspen Meadow chiq

    Aspen Meadow chiq Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks for the replies folks. I think we'll be separating her from the rest in the morning. I don't have any of the Blu-kote but will get some. I'm wondering how Neosporin tastes [​IMG] I thought about hot sauce but decided it wouldn't feel very good on the wounds.... ha
    We do open the door for them every day but it's been snowy and cold so they've been spending more time inside, possibly the problem. Bored. too bad chickens don't play with toys.
    Their house is plenty big for the 6 of them but still, not much to do all day inside. They were keeping both buffs away from the food tonight so I made 2 places for them to eat and will do
    better than that tomorrow in the daylight....at least that way she can eat.
    We'll do what we can tomorrow and I'll report back .... thanks again.[​IMG]
     
  5. Zoey

    Zoey Out Of The Brooder

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    What you need to do is change the pecking order !

    Take out both leghorns, keep them separated from each other completely, isolate the top 2 birds, for 5 days... A dog crate and cage in the garage would do, then after the 5 days, you'll re-introduce the leghorns, and they won't be at the top any more.. there will be some squabbling, as they re-establish their whole order, but it is quite likely, that they will all settle down...
     
  6. EmtheFishLady

    EmtheFishLady We're all mad here

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    Quote:Does this really work? I do it with fish, but generally I change things in the aquarium a bit. Didn't know it could work with chickens!
     
  7. Aspen Meadow chiq

    Aspen Meadow chiq Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That makes good sense...isolating the good chicken seems like it wouldn't help the problem, maybe make it worse when putting her back with the others. Winter is not a good time for a chicken alone anywhere but I'll figure something out. thanks
     
  8. bordergurl

    bordergurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Actually my chickens play. I suspend branches and long grasses and cabbages from the roosts and they peck at those rather than each other while they are pent up in the coop! Maybe not play actually, but it does keep them engaged.....
     

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