They just won't stop!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Paganbird, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Paganbird

    Paganbird CrescentWood Farm

    Apr 25, 2009
    Western Pa
    A few weeks ago, a racoon got in my coop & killed some of my chickens. We took care ot the problem and haven't had any trouble since, but...
    My EE hen Phoenix was "caught" by the racoon. It didn't injure her - it must have bit at her and only got a mouthful of feathers. Her tail was almost gone with the remaining feathers broken and stripped. Her "pantaloons" were gone too. It looked like someone shaved her!
    The problem is that the other hens chase her away now. She used to be relatively high in the pecking order. Now she's not welcome. One of my BAs even attacked her yesterday - pinning her down and pecking at her aggressively.
    She does not have any open areas or sores. She has not been acting differently. Why would they be doing this to her? I was afraid that they might start to peck at her re-growing feathers, but I didn't expect them to chase her away. She is last to eat & last into the coop at night. She sneaks in to use the nest boxes.
    Is there anything I can do to encourage the others to let her hang around? She is a reliable layer & she's also the Smartest.
     
  2. ZepChick

    ZepChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2008
    coos bay OR
    we had a couple of Polish hens who were getting really pecked on. We isolated them until their feathers grew back, and re-introduced them and they have held their own. It was almost like they had to re-establish a pecking order. We also had a blind chicken with the same deal....always pecked bald. We isolated her until fully feathered, and re-introduced her and have not had a problem since. Good luck~
     
  3. Paganbird

    Paganbird CrescentWood Farm

    Apr 25, 2009
    Western Pa
    How did the blind chicken eat? My other EE hen, Hauke, was also injured by the coon. (The racoon only injured my 2 EE hens - must have been breed profiling)
    She was blinded and I was afraid that she wouldn't be able to find the food or water, so my DH culled her. [​IMG]
    Do you think it would make it worse - that they would shun her MORE if I isolated her from them completely?
    She wants to be closer to them so badly! It's like she's sitting on the sidelines!
     
  4. ZepChick

    ZepChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2008
    coos bay OR
    I am sorry I didn't see your post.
    Our blind EE Red, is blind in one eye, so you can walk up on one side of her and grab her, she doesn't even flinch. Needless to say, the poor girl was pecked mercilessly by the others, all over her neck (she looked like a naked neck), all over her back and she would often be bleeding a bit. Since Red has one eye that somewhat works, she finds food/water/treats well with it. I think you probably did the right thing by culling your blind hen, you wouldn't want to watch ehr suffer.

    I don't know if they would shun her more. I do think they would have to re-establish that mean pecking order thing, but for some reason with our Polish and with Red, they did a million times better after they were refeathered and maybe recharged a bit? Could you let her be by them maybe in a little partitioned area by herself? Or perhaps with another hen that doesn't peck her so much? that way they are used to seeing her and she isn't completely isolated, and her feathers can grow again. Red (our blind hen) does get a little special treatment from us, too. When we bring out treats, we grab Red and hand feed her, because while she is pretty fast at running for treats, she is one-eyed Willy and it's not fair. I wish you luck, and please let me know if you figure out a solution to this problem. While Red doesn't get picked on anymore, like you said, it seems she used to be higher in the pecking order and now she kind of keeps to herself (probably for protection). But at least she isn't naked and bleeding.
     
  5. Paganbird

    Paganbird CrescentWood Farm

    Apr 25, 2009
    Western Pa
    Thanks for the advice. I've put her with our RIR named Red who we've nicknamed Wheezie. Wheezie started sneezing a few weeks ago so I quarantined her. She hasn't had any changes - still sneezing, but no other symptoms.
    The 2 chickens are sooooo much happier together. (Wheezie only sneezes when she's INSIDE... I was thinking maybe it's like an allergy kinda thing.)
     
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    Hope all goes well with the re-introduction when the time comes. It seems they always have to re-establish a pecking order when I do a re-introduction. I usually do the re-introduction in the yard while they are ranging. I put plenty of scratch grains out for the birds and hopefully they will concentrate more on the treats than each other.
     

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