re-integrating hen to flock-REJECTED!

saffron_parasol(4a WI)June 5, 2013

I have a hen that had been severely injured by my roo's spurs. She's larger than most of the others and was mid-to-high in the pecking order. She's all healed up now, and re-integrating her has been difficult. Seems 2 of the other hens want to kill her. Every time the roo mounts her, the other 2 try to pick her eyes out. I had another hen killed this way, by other hens, a while back, so I remove her when this begins. They ALL got along fine before this happened. The 2 that go after her are not known for being this way, and the flock in general is quite docile. Why is this hapening, and what can I do?

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dreamgarden(z6)

Hopefully, you have been keeping this poor picked on hen segregated from the killers.

There is a chicken expert who posts here named Velvet Sparrow. Her link is below. I recall reading info about chicken dominance and how to instill domestic tranquility. Great pics there as well.

A link that might be useful.

http://jackshenhouse.com/

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 10:25PM
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lazy_gardens

Remove the rooster until she's well-integrated. And unless you are actively raising chicks of a specific breed, there is no reason to keep a rooster.

You need to break up the bullying pair. Removing the victim merely encourages the bullies -

1 - Remove both bullies
2 - Re-integrate the hen
3 - Re-integrate ONE of the bullies and observe the behavior.
4 - Finally, reintegrate the other.

If they are persistent despite, you have reached the "this flock isn't big enough for all of you" decision and may have to permanently remove one or more of them. Keep the best layer and turn the rest into chicken salad.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 8:17AM
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