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Bullied nervous chicken. Urgent help please

5 replies

whenthejoyreturns · 27/05/2020 08:32

We’ve had out 6 ex free range chickens for just over a week. One is smaller than the others and very bald in a few places. She’s obviously had a tough time at her last home. She is very nervous when any of the other chickens go near her and runs away even when they are not doing anything to her. The problem is they do pick on her especially if she is trying to eat they’ll peck her and chase herSad
We’ve let them out to roam so she can generally get away from them during the day, but I feel awful shutting her in the coop at night, although it’s all quiet when we shut the door. In the morning she stays in the coop until the others have gone out.
I feel so sad for her, she’s very friendly to us and we adore her. Will it settle down or is there anything we can do to help her?

OP posts:
lavenderlove · 31/05/2020 19:56

I was just coming on here to post a very similar post. I've just re-homed 3 ex "free range" hens (1 week ago) and 2 of them are really picking on the weakest baldest hen Sad I feel awful for her, they won't let her out of the coop at all, won't let her eat/drink (I've been taking her out to give her food/water/a break from them).

Hopefully someone will be along to give us some advice as I feel so guilty I don't want to leave her with them Sad

CountryCob · 03/06/2020 12:46

Chickens can be really horrible to each other and I have had free range re homed chickens who are quite behaviourally damaged when they arrive. I think what you are both doing in keeping the bird separate is a good idea. When feeding create lots of piles of food so there is no one area for them to guard, maybe create a shelf you can put her on for food. Vascaline on the comb will mean it won’t be cut when pecked as easily. Anti peck spray might put them off if they are feather pecking. Generally give them as much room and distractions as possible. If one bird is the main bully consider also isolating her so the others have a break. Putting grain in straw or something to peck through makes them more distracted and can break cycle. If you want a separate nesting box a covered cat little tray works well. Remember to give them a dust bath area as another distraction and to keep kites away. Things might settle down as weaker bird gets stronger. Best of luck and well done on rehoming

CountryCob · 03/06/2020 12:47

Keep mites away even

CountryCob · 03/06/2020 12:48

Let the hen know you are on her side and stick up for her, she might even be hand fed by you and get quite friendly....

CountryCob · 03/06/2020 12:50

And be reassured that the life of the hen is already 100% better because you picked her up, she would be dead by now otherwise try not to feel too bad, a week is no time, it can take months for them to settle. Maybe keep the weaker one in the run during the day so she feels safer?

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