Traumatic Day-Need Advice

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MyRedStarz, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. MyRedStarz

    MyRedStarz Out Of The Brooder

    May 29, 2011
    [​IMG] ok...i'm pretty emotional right's the days events.

    I have 3 Red Star pullets (approx 24 weeks old) and have been enjoying fresh eggs for a few weeks. I noticed just yesterday that my favorite chicken, Garnet has been getting picked on my the other two. So much so, she has been hiding in the coop and seems afraid to come down into the run. Mostly, my one chicken, Topaz picks on her, but then the other one, Ruby, joins in. Garnet seems frantic to get out of the run. I'm not sure if this is just typical pecking order antics or something more....any insights?

    Now for the horrible part. I came over to the coop and opened the door to give the chickens some treats this morning and Garnet came out of the coop and joined the girls in eating up the corn. As soon as they were done, the two girls attacked her and Garnet ran right past me out of the run into the yard. Unfortunetly, my hound dog was out and immediately attacked her. I was horrified! We ended up getting her away from the dog and checked her over. She was not bleeding or had any puncture wounds on her but lost a ton of feathers. I am unsure if she has anything broken. I cradled her for about a half our and she was very subdued. She has always been my friendliest chicken and likes to sit with me and let me pet her when i'm out letting them roam around. I put her in one of our dog crates with some hay, food and water next to the orginal coop but am afraid to put her back in the regular coop since i am unsure if she is injured and the girls would pick on her more. My plan is to monitor her this way for the next few days to see if she recovers. Any thoughts on my ways to proceed? IThis is my first time owning chickens, so i am quite the novice. Any advice would be helpful.
  2. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

    Aug 3, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    That's horrible, I'm sorry. It could have been alot worse. Check her everywhere, under her wings, on her neck under her feathers, her ribs, to make sure there aren't any injuries you may have missed. Keep them separated for now, give her lots of lovin', and smack the dog.
    Tell him it's from Stoopid, and he'd better not pull that crap again. In the meantime we will have to figure out whether to rehome the chicken, or the dog.
    Only kidding, we'll think of something.... Roberta
  3. CrestedGirl

    CrestedGirl Polish Obsessed

    Mar 7, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    We had this same thing happen with our dog. Except he did cause some bleeding and lots of feather loss. Thankfully we got the rooster in time before our dog did any serious damage like breaking some bones. We took him in and gave him a bath, and put lots of hydrogen peroxide on his wounds along with some iodine spray . He had lot basically lost all of his wing, back, and tail feathers.We put some antibiotics in his water for a couple days. He has been in a crate in our garage for about 2 weeks and has made a remarkable recovery. As soon as the scabs healed they started peeling off and there were tiny little feathers underneath starting to grow. We have been giving him lots of protein to help them grow like scrambled eggs an cat food. He is doing great and is crowing again. I hope your girl does alright, Keep us posted [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2011
  4. terrilhb

    terrilhb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2010
    I am so sorry for all you are going through. As far as the hen that is the bully. I have read on here that you can take her and put her into Chicken Jail. And try again. I am not sure of all it entails. Hopefully someone with more experience will chime in on how to exactly do it. But it can be done. I have 3 hens that are living in with my bucks and guinea's because they were being picked on badly. I was going to put them back when they healed but I enjoy them living there. They are so sweet. They come to my doors and peck on them all the time.
  5. Terri O

    Terri O Chillin' With My Peeps

    Once she is healed you will probably have to use the dog crate to put the bully in for a bit. Introducing her back into such a small flock could be tricky! THe "chicken jail" works just like you are now doing with your hurt one. Terri O
  6. Runt Of The Litter

    Runt Of The Litter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2011
    its classic territorial chicken behavior,chickens operate on a hierarchy within their flock,and when establishing the hierarchy it can seem like gang warfare,each chuck battling to be tougher than the other,and if they cant be the strongest they suck up to the strongest using the power of their dominance.
    garnets nature sounds the opposite to the other girls-mild,friendly and submissive so she is at the bottom of the hierarchy- which gives the least respect of all the flock,the dominant chickens will get all the first chances with any food or treats put out so just make sure she gets some to.
    -this is just in own view,but woud say to put garnet back in-as long as she has no cuts on her and is calm enough to approach the coop,as it will be unsettling to the group as a whole.

    when we had a problem with hierarchy squabbling,we just left the submissive chuck in there but monitored her closely,it upset the others whenever she was taken away from them so it isnt an issue of hate,they soon settled down again.
    a lot of humans operate the same way when theyre younger in schools.

    coud always try a chicken saddle,as apparently these are good with feather pulling:
    -shoud be able to find a american seller if were ever interested in them.
    have never personaly known anyone who uses them so cant comment though,woud have loved to have gotten them for our submissive chuck,ethel when she was still around.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  7. MyRedStarz

    MyRedStarz Out Of The Brooder

    May 29, 2011
    Thanks so much for the replies...It has made me feel better and think i have a game plan.

    Garnet has been lounging in the dog crate and i saw her eating and drinking so i hope that is a positive sign. I am going to let her and the other chickens out to roam this evening and see how they do (dog will be on lock down). i was thinking of transfering Garnet to the coop run in the evening and locking the other girls up in the coop for the night for the next few nights. Then maybe re-introduce her on Tues or Wed as long as she seems healthy. I'll just have to play it by ear.

    Runt: Thanks for clueing me on the the hierachy thing...i am hoping they will just work things out on their own...
  8. Breezy_Living

    Breezy_Living Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2011
    Northern California
    Have you tried "being the rooster" and disciplining the other hens when they start picking on her. I know they're figuring out and maintaining hierarchy but essentially you're the top dog and make the rules. Have you tried sitting out with them for a bit and "defending" her when the other start to bully?
  9. MyRedStarz

    MyRedStarz Out Of The Brooder

    May 29, 2011
    Darn it! In the afternoon, i let the chickens out to roam and decided to look over Garnet again, and i did find a puncture wound on her back. It was not bleeding but i did put some hydrogen perioxide on it (hope that is ok???). I will definetly have to separate the girls for longer until she heals. She was eating and drinking and moving around a little in her dog crate. Also, i gave her some treats and she ate those up.

    I locked Ruby and Topaz up in the coop last night and then transfered Garnet from the small crate into the big run so she'd have more room in the evening. She immediately ran up the ramp and was tapping on the coop door as if to say "hey guys, let me in!" Made me feel even worse for her! She roosted on the ramp all night and this morning i went to transfer her back to her crate and noticed she layed an egg but the shell was deformed (not calcified, soft, almost rubbery). If figured that there would be some kind of disruption in laying with her for awhile due to the trauma.

    My plan now is to isolate Garnet in the dog crate until she is fully recovered and healed. Then i'll get one of the chicken jackets for her, put her back in the coop with Ruby and take Topaz (the dominant one) and put her in chicken jail for a week. I'm hoping this will start the process of working things out. Does anyone have any other suggestions? [​IMG]

  10. Tiss

    Tiss Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2010
    I would be sure to discipline the other hens when you see them pecking at Garnet. Are they crowded in their coop? That can lead to excess aggression as well as giving no place for Garnet to run.

    The deformed egg is probably a result of the trauma. Make sure she has some oyster shell and she should turn around.

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