Bully Hen and wounded bird, help!

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CoopersCoop

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Bully Hen and wounded bird, help!
« on: May 10, 2013, 08:53 »
My partner and I decided to expand our flock a week ago or so. Knowing that my other ladies would probably be quite the bullies, I've kept them separated for a while.

However, I tried to integrate them yesterday and when I came home from work, I found one of my new ladies Cybil with a very nasty gash on the back of her neck. I took her to the vets and she has had to have two staples in her neck and been put on antibiotics. She is now indoors resting from her ordeal.

I'm now not sure what to do when I try to integrate them. Do you think I was a bit foolish and rushed it? I feel like I'm a bad Mummy after what happened yesterday. I thought If I kept them in view of each other for a longer period of time this might make the integration better. What do you think?

I really need help. I've already had an awful week losing one of my other ladies Eddie, I cant bare the thought of another one going downhill.

Thanks

Charlotte x
Charlotte and her Hens

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compostqueen

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Re: Bully Hen and wounded bird, help!
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 11:34 »
I think letting them run alongside each other but divided by netting etc is a good plan. They might never get together though so you could plan for that eventuality. It's not always possible to resolve fights and they might have to live separately. Still, it's early days and you can keep trying.

Don't beat yourself up. You got the bird to the vet, she's on antibiotics and hopefully she'll be fine. I bet you are more shocked than she is  :) 

We have some really good hen folks on here and I'm sure someone will be along shortly to give you chapter and verse on how to help matters along.  I'll see if I can give a Mod a shout for you  :)

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CoopersCoop

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Re: Bully Hen and wounded bird, help!
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 11:53 »
Thank you compostqueen! Any help anyone can give I would be very grateful of.

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JaK

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Re: Bully Hen and wounded bird, help!
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 12:22 »
Do you know which hen is the worst bully?
Once Cybil is feeling up to it, pop her in with the others (at night when all is quiet)and take out the bully hen.
Keep the bully hen on her own away from the others for 2 weeks if you can, just while the others settle into their new group. Then reintroduce the bully, she will now have to find her place among the others in their new pecking order. After a few days peace should be restored (fingers crossed).  :)
Good luck, hope Cybil is doing well.

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ANHBUC

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Re: Bully Hen and wounded bird, help!
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 18:09 »
Hi Charlotte, Sorry you have had problems with integrating your new hens.  I usually have mine within view of each other for a few weeks before trying to put them together.  Other members have managed to integrate new hens straight away without any problems so there is no right or wrong way.  If you know the main bully you can do as JaK says when she has fully recovered.

I sometimes let my new hens in to the run or garden with others but stay in with them and any bullying I can then restrain the bully gently holding its shoulders and head close to the ground as a cockerel would.  Your hens usually see you as the cockerel so them being told off by you should work.  Just increase the time they are together and distract the other hens with a sprinkling of layers pellets which they will dash around to eat before anyone else.  If they start getting on better you can put the newbies in the coop after dark.  Make sure you are up early to let them all out and check they get along.  As said there is no right or wrong way so you will have to play it by ear.   ;)
Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens!
Bagpuss RIP 1992 - June 2012, 1 huge grass carp (RIP "Jaws" July 2001 - December 2011), 4 golden orfe, 1 goldfish and 1 fantail fish (also huge)! plus 4 Italian quail, 1 Japanese quail, 1 Rosetta quail.

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JMF

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Re: Bully Hen and wounded bird, help!
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2013, 07:26 »
Hi seen you ave received good information already when we integrated back into the group one of our girls that had been attacked by a fox they turned on her as well so took her back out and reintroduced her late at night sprayed with something called anti peck spray which seemed to work.  Also taking the bully out sometimes help.  I know it is how chooks behave but it s horrible to witness.  Hope all improves shortly.

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Sassy

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Re: Bully Hen and wounded bird, help!
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2013, 08:12 »
Good advice above. Best to let them run alongside each other for about 2-3 weeks and then put her in at night when they are all dopey. This is not foolproof but they get chance to get used to the new birds smell in their house. Also best to use extra feeding and watering stations for a while after introducing as this is what can help kick off disagreements. If you coud introduce 2 hens rather than one this also helps. :)

Do not try to reintroduce until the injured bird is fully recovered with no wounds. A less than 100% fit bird they may also turn on. :)
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted!!

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Kath P

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Re: Bully Hen and wounded bird, help!
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2013, 12:53 »
I wouldn't call myself a great expert, I've had just 6 chucks for a few years. I have managed to introduce hens as singles and they always get a bit of stick the first day. I've never had any injuries but it is awful to see them getting a bit of a ragging. I always make sure that I get a new hen at a time when I'm at home for a couple of days and can keep an eye on things. I think as said before if you can see who the biggest bully is and take them out of the equation for a few days that helps. Also the bigger area they have to roam at least they can get away from the others.

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CoopersCoop

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Re: Bully Hen and wounded bird, help!
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 11:28 »
Thanks Guys :)

You are all absolute superstars, and the advice is really helpful.

My fiance and I have decided to but another hen house (a small one) to put Cybil in for the time being, but in sight of the other hen house. After her injuries have fully healed, we will introduce her into the flock, isolating the bully for  a while, but will let them all mingle in the garden while we can keep an eye on them. Also We hope to get another hen so it makes the introduction a bit easier.

It's so distressing to see them fight- natural of course but after seeing the mess Cybil got into, its made me extra cautious.

Cybil is doing really well, if anything she has got quite bolshy! We have been keeping her indoors in the dog cage (letting her out for a scratch and peck in the garden of course!). She even climbed up my finace's leg and sat on his knee for a while last night! I've never known a chicken like it, I think she might have herself confused as a cat! :D

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ANHBUC

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Re: Bully Hen and wounded bird, help!
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2013, 20:52 »
How is Cybil doing now Charlotte, hope she hasn't taken over your sofa?   :lol:



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