Help please, chickens attacking one chicken

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SusieB

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Help please, chickens attacking one chicken
« on: September 22, 2009, 18:46 »
I have come home from work.  One of my ex-batts has had the feathers pecked off her rear and is bleeding.  She is in the kitchen now.  She seems a bit stunned but is eating a tomato.  What can I do, I have to go to work tomorrow?  Do I wash the blood off?  Do I keep her in the house?

Lesley

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poultrygeist

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Re: Help please, chickens attacking one chicken
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2009, 19:04 »
Hi Lesley

Can you rinse the blood off with a bit of cooled, boiled water with a bit of salt added ?

Once clean, you should be able to see the extent of any damage, which is probably not too much.
If it were me, I'd be tempted to keep her indoors, somewhere dark and quiet in the box with some straw and a pot of water possibly.
If you could divide off a bit of run space for her so that he others can't get at her but can run alongside her. She'd need food and water of course.
Failing that, looks like a day indoors for her  :D

Rob 8)

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SusieB

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Re: Help please, chickens attacking one chicken
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2009, 19:12 »
Thank you.  I have tried to wash her, but the blood is still there.  The chickens seem to have a taste for the blood.  I will have to keep her separate till I'm off work on friday, then let the others free range whilst she's in the pen. 
But even if it stops this time, I'm going to be worrying whilst I'm at work that it'll happen again.

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poultrygeist

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Re: Help please, chickens attacking one chicken
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2009, 19:19 »
They are quite vicious at times. :(

Any weaker ones will be naturally picked on and excluded from the flock in case they attract predators or are ill.
It's a clever beahviour but not very nice when you're trying to keep them safe and happy ::)

Rob 8)

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SusieB

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Re: Help please, chickens attacking one chicken
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2009, 19:30 »
How far might they go?  I'd rather have her put to sleep than risk her being very badly pecked or pecked to death.  Am I over reacting, it's very upsetting?!  Thank you for your timely advice, I don't know how us newbies would cope without these forums.

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poultrygeist

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Re: Help please, chickens attacking one chicken
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2009, 19:44 »
I'm a relative beginner myself but after a couple of years, you can't help but pick up the tips  :D

They do kill and canibalise if left to their own devices. But usually they're content and get on well. When they have feathers missing, the red skin attracts them and instinct takes over.
You can try purple spray to lessen the redness or various other sprays to repel pecking.
Not found any that work but others find them useful. Have they got plenty of room in the coop and run and food available at all times ?
Boredom can cause pecking, as can definciencies. Do you have poultry spice to add to their feed ?

Rob 8)

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SusieB

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Re: Help please, chickens attacking one chicken
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2009, 19:55 »
The run is 6m by 4m and I have 6 hens.  3 days a week they free range for 4 or 5 hours, but when I'm at work it's half an hour out of the pen morning and most evenings.  I do worry about boredom whilst I'm at work.  They have pellets at all times and treats in the evening.  I'm wondering if my pen is too small.  When the winter days are shorter they will have many days when they don't get out at all.

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poultrygeist

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Re: Help please, chickens attacking one chicken
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2009, 20:01 »
That should be more than adequate Lesley. :)  Don't worry.

Never had ex-batts so you could do with some specialised advice really. Hopefully someone will be able to come along and offer something extra. :)

Could you take photos of your poorly one to post up ?

Rob 8)

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lucylou

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Re: Help please, chickens attacking one chicken
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2009, 20:34 »
you pen seems plenty big enough for them.  Unfortunately chickens are able to peck another one to death quite quickly if they are already weakened & i think your idea of keeping them seperate until you can watch them is the only way of ensuring your injured one's safety.  Good luck, hope she recovers quickly with some tlc :)

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SusieB

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Re: Help please, chickens attacking one chicken
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2009, 08:26 »
A picture of Nellie's bottom.  The blood has now dried so I'm not sure you can see much.  She appears to have laid a shell-less egg last night, as I think, did one of the others.  They have access to oyster shells.
090923 049i2.jpg

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poultrygeist

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Re: Help please, chickens attacking one chicken
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2009, 08:28 »
ouch! Poor girl. I hope she continues to recover. :)

Is she planning revenge with the circlar saw ?  :ohmy:

Rob 8)

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Foxy

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Re: Help please, chickens attacking one chicken
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2009, 08:39 »
Oh dear, that does look sore. You will need to protect with something like purple spray, which is a disinfectant spray and the purple colour will deter the others from pecking although, I am afraid to say when exbatts start picking on another to this extent it is really difficult to stop.
My best advice would be to keep her isolated during the day,you could if you use an anti pecking spray pop her back into the main house at dusk but you would have to be diligent and get her out early and late to bed, (make sure the henhouse has the windows if you have any blacked out until she heals)then during the day, just pop her in a corner of the run with a bit of chicken wire, so she she the others but they can't get to her, failing that you might have to rehome her.

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SusieB

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Re: Help please, chickens attacking one chicken
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2009, 11:17 »
I'm looking at anti-peck sprays on the internet.  There is one called Ukadex, which is supposed to smell disgusting, so it might work.  But won't this stop the chicken grooming her rear-end?  And (if anybody can get in to the mind of a chicken) will it be unpleasant for her to smell?



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