Hi All
We have 4 hens, 2 which we've had for years, and 2 young ones which we added 6 months ago. They all seemed to get along fine. Recently we noticed that one of the new hens was missing some feathers around her head and neck. Yesterday it bacame obvious that one or both of the older hens was attacking her, and there was a nasty cut on the back of her neck.

I put the injured hen in a mesh fronted box within the main run over night. This morning the wound looked like it was clotted, and she seemed quite happy. I shooed the older birds back into the coop, shut the door and let the victim out into the run. After half an hour or so, she looked fine, behaving normally, so I let the old birds back out into the run. After just a few seconds, one of the old birds launched into a vicious attack, opened the wound again and there was a lot more blood. I had to rescue the poor thing and put it back in the isolation box.

Does anyone know what causes this behavior, and is there anything we can do to prevent it? I think the old birds will kill her if we can't sort it out. It's all quite distressing.