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#10820 - 05/09/05 07:27 PM hens are suddenly picking on one of their own
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have 5 hens that were always raised together and have always gotten along , more or less, until recently. Four of them are now suddenly picking on the buff orpington. They'll be fine and then suddenly all attack her and start pulling on the feather on her head (she's bald now). The only cause I can think of is that one of my hens hatched two chicks, one of which turned out to be a rooster. As he matured, I noticed that two of my hens went bald (I assume this had something to do with mating). But as time progressed, he seemed to pick on my buff orpington more and more, so I recently got rid of him. But the hens won't stop picking on this particular hen! Can anyone give me some insights as to why they would suddenly start harassing one of their own? Any way to stop this behavior? Do I have to give her away? Any suggestions would be really appreciated! M.

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#10821 - 05/12/05 04:35 PM Re: hens are suddenly picking on one of their own
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
Understanding the peck order and chicken behavior in general can be quite maddening! New birds entering the flock or even birds leaving the flock can cause a challenge in the entire order. Also if she is weak or ill in any way, this may bring on picking. I don't know what will help but keep a close eye on the situation! It can turn ugly in a hurry.

Bill L

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#10822 - 05/13/05 07:25 AM Re: hens are suddenly picking on one of their own
Rack Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 384
Loc: Virginia
I put something that tastes nasty on the area they pick on. I mixe tea tree oil and oil together and put a little on area. Try pine tar...
Also give them something else to pick on. Hang a cabbage in the coop about head height or other treats.

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#10823 - 05/13/05 10:42 PM Re: hens are suddenly picking on one of their own
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thank you for your replies. After a week of hand feeding, protecting, and watching, we decided to adopt out our picked on hen to our neighbor with a very large flock. She seems to be doing fine and the other hens don't seem to bother her at all there. I still don't know why they decided to reject her, but they did. Chickens are incredibly complicated, social animals!

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