What if everyone is ganging up on one?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lalyswishytail, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. lalyswishytail

    lalyswishytail Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2009
    Chicago area
    Other posts I've been reading for advice say that if there is an aggressive chicken who is beating up on others, (or even just one), that you should remove the aggressive bird. What do you do if four chickens are plucking and pecking and spilling blood on just one bird? I live two miles away from my coop and when I went to feed the flock, that's what I saw. I made the decision to take Sommer, (the hurting one), home. I asked for advice about this earlier and people said to try Blue-Kote. The more I read, I decided that Blue-Kote was meant to heal wounds, not change behaviors. Another person suggested Vick's Vapo Rub. I tried that and then brought Sommer back to the coop. Not even two seconds inside, it started all over again. I was supposed to run about 10 errands that day! You know those bumper stickers that say "God is my co-pilot?" Mine would say, "My chicken is my co-pilot," because for the next 3 1/2 hours, Sommer perched on the backseat next to my son. She even went for an oil change! While I enjoy Sommer's company, I hate picking up the poop in the porch where Sommer stays all day. She has been at our house for four days now. What should I do? I also wonder if I should bring the next lowest sister in the pecking order over as well so that Sommer has a friend. I'm also concerned that with dropping temperatures, (it's about 7 degrees now), that if I take more birds out of the 4 x 6 foot coop more heat will be lost for the three that are left to huddle together. Opinions please!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  2. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    One aggressive.. remove one... Four aggressive... remove four...
     
  3. bluey

    bluey thootp veteran

    Apr 10, 2008
    Washington, PA
    I'd get rid of the one. Much easier. Why throw 4 chickens to the curb for one?
     
  4. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:You remove the four that are being aggressive and place them in a seperate pen/coop for a week or two. When they are put back into the original flock, the 'pecking order' will have been re-established and the four aggressive birds will now be at the bottom of the totem pole.
     
  5. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    It sounds like you have 5 birds total, yes? And all 4 of the others are picking on her? If so, taking 4 away probably won't work well...in a larger group, that would be a good way to go.

    How long has this been happening? Is she a different color than the others, or some other way very different? Or are they all piling on just because she has wounds?

    It sounds like she has wounds on her that will incite the others to go after her again... it may help to let her heal first before returning her. You may only have one that really goes after her and the others have kicked in once there was injury. If that's the case, you might be able to pinpoint the nasty one after she is healed and isolate that one for a day or so. That will mess up the pecking order a little.

    For now, if it were me, I would let her heal first, then try again. It would probably be a good idea to bring another one home to spend time with her, as long as that one doesn't start in on her there - but I don't have a whole lot of experience with those temps, so someone else may need to correct me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  6. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Ontario
    Wondering if she is the same breed as the others...I ask because i had one lone Polish hen with a hair do to die for and the others were all jealous exspecially my newest youngest Roo....They plucked her feathers off her head...tried many things ....ended up the Roo was taken out of the group and things calmed down ...the Roo was sent to the neighbours .....plus my coop was too small for the amount of birds I had so I added more roosts and downsized some hens that also went to the neighbours ...things are better...I have a new Roo and he's wonderful....that Roo that went to the neighbours was one of my chicks I hatched out and the one that I have now I bought at 15 weeks old ...HM?....My Polish hen is back to being beautiful now ....no eggs from her since but thats okay ...
     
  7. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    I agree with the post above mine. If she has wounds gothey will keep attacking. I wonder if she had gotten sick or something else that caused her to be a target. Maybe her health is not the best and they are trying to weed out the sick or weak one?

    Im new to this though so Im sure someone else knows better!

    Sorry your having to deal with this and hope things get better.

    Oh yeah, Terry Golson at Hencam.com has a blog and she had a couple hens that were pecked badly. Apparently she said if she hadn't moved them they would have died. She put a little tape on the wounded heads (duct tape) and moved the girls. They got much respect from their new flock members possibly in part due to their shiny silver hats.

    When the new feathers grew back the tape fell away. She did treat the wound with some antibiotic ointment before taping. And so the tape protected the wound from further damage and allowed it to heal. :-o
     
  8. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
  9. lalyswishytail

    lalyswishytail Out Of The Brooder

    80
    0
    39
    Jan 13, 2009
    Chicago area
    Thanks for the new ideas! Yes, I have only five chickens total. They include...2 RIRs, (one is at the top, the other is #3), 1 ISA brown, (she's #2), a GLW, (who was removed for a few days due to an injured leg, but is not doing fine and has been returned...#4), and my poor little Sommer, a SLW, #5. Sommer was wearing an apron since last June when she and the #4 girl were getting pecked on. The #4 girl eventually broke the straps on her apron and no longer wears it. Fortunately, for now, she doesn't need it.

    My plan is to bring the other Wyandotte, #4, (named Elke), home. At least there will be some company for Sommer.

    No one in the know mentioned anything about how well three birds will do huddled together in a 4 x 6 coop, (as opposed to four birds), in frigid temperatures. I think we're at about 3 degrees right now.

    BTW, yes, I could 'get rid' of Sommer as it would be the easiest option, but she is a pet and she will be cared for until the end.
     
  10. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Good for you! Thats great to hear.....
     

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