Warning. Rabbit being hen pecked.

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cheeps

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Warning. Rabbit being hen pecked.
« on: March 04, 2014, 11:18 »
Hello everyone.  Just thought I'd share a sad tale about my rabbit Peter. Firstly I'll set the scene.  My rabbits have their own garden and lovely large house and are free to come and go as they like and to dig burrows (obviously we lock them up at night). We have made their area very secure to allow them to do these things safely or so we thought.  We also keep hens who also are allowed to roam freely and do their own thing in their own garden and also get locked up at night.  The rabbits are at one end of our property and the hens at the other.  Between them lies the main garden with fencing to keep the pets in their various domains.  Last summer we extended our flock of hens.  All the new new hens had their wings clipped.  One hen in particular (a beautiful exchequer) decided that she didn't want to stay in the hen garden and managed to fly over the fence.  We decided to trim her flight feathers a bit more.  Still she flew over the fence.  This time we trimmed both wings (normally only one side is clipped to cause an imbalance) in the hope that she simply wouldn't get enough lift to take off.  Wrong.  Nothing seemed to hold her back and we really couldn't clip her wings any further.  We decided to accept her naughty behavior and hoped she wouldn't fly out of our property into the big bad world beyond.  Anyway, soon she wasn't content to be in the main garden area either and she decided to visit the rabbit garden flying over their fence too.  Once there it also occurred to her that it would be rather nice to set up a nesting box in the rabbit house.   The rabbits (2) had other ideas about this and soon there was a stand off each day as the rabbits tried to protect their home from her invasion. Big mistake. Not to be deterred the hen gave poor Peter an almighty peck just next to one of his eyes.  This caused a massive trauma and his fluids starting bulging out of his eyeball.  Looked horrific.  I rushed him to the vets who thought the eye could be saved and I spent a week caring for him until it took a turn for the worse.  Back to the vet again and more treatment, love and care ensued until one day there was an almighty eruption of pus.  I was so alarmed, honestly I have never seen anything so terrible.  Back to the vet again who decided to operate to find the root of the infection.  Worst news ever, the infection had spread to the bone.  The vet said nothing could be done for him and poor Peter was put to sleep.  Very sad tale to tell.  I've always been very watchful for birds of prey but it just goes to show that sometimes the enemy comes from within. :(

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Goosegirl

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Re: Warning. Rabbit being hen pecked.
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2014, 13:03 »
Crumbs - how awful! Are your other rabbits safe from her? If you aren't sure, perhaps it would be kindest to have the hen put down as she could do it again.
Spring always comes when we sow the seeds of life.

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cheeps

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Re: Warning. Rabbit being hen pecked.
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2014, 14:17 »
OMG.  That thought never crossed my mind.  I love all my pets equally.  Anyway, at the moment she is feeling rather subdued because she too has now been on the receiving end of an attack by one of the other hens.  The top hen has well and truly put her back in her place and I think she will stay there for sometime if she knows what is good for her.

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Trillium

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Re: Warning. Rabbit being hen pecked.
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2014, 20:04 »
In case that hen decides to try flying over the fence again. fit a 6 ft wide length of chicken fencing as a 'roof' on the chicken side so that if she tries to fly over again, she'll only bump into the fencing and fall back in. A few tries should convince her it's futile. It's likely she's trying to fly over at the fence line itself, and with the overhead fencing in place, you shouldn't have further problems.

As for your poor bunny, remember that chickens are omnivores and will go after anything they think is food. Some chickens have grander ideas than others on what is acceptable prey. I've found that the main problem with chickens like yours is that once they've developed a bad habit like this, it will continue whenever they think they can get away with it. They've got the taste.

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Mum2mj

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Re: Warning. Rabbit being hen pecked.
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 21:01 »
How horrible for you  :(

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joyfull

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Re: Warning. Rabbit being hen pecked.
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2014, 16:14 »
thats awful for you, chickens can be very aggressive and anything shiny will be pecked first (hence poor Peter Rabbits eye).
Staffies are softer than you think.



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