#1 10-13-2008 07:41:02

Patchofheaven
Platinum Member
From: Conroe, TX
Registered: 02-05-2008
Posts: 1024

Hens picking on Injured Chicken

One of my older hens, that survived a coon attack (last Monday) with just a little cut above her right leg and has been healing just fine was attacked by several members of her flock. 

Yesterday, at least 3 hens had her trapped in a nesting box and were pecking at her wound, making her bleed.  It was almost as if they were trying to kill her.  I heard her screaming and came running - I immediately gave the "Mean Girls" the boot and tended to her now aggravated and deep wounds.  My wounded chicken is doing much better now and is living peacefully with my two ducks who won't hurt her.

Why do chickens pick on the injured?  Or do I just have cannibal chickens?

Dana

Last edited by Patchofheaven (10-13-2008 07:42:33)


Love would never be a promise of a rose garden, unless it is showered with light of faith, water of sincerity and air of passion.

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#2 10-13-2008 07:51:10

thndrdancr
Double Platinum
From: Lincoln, Nebraska
Registered: 12-13-2007
Posts: 2699

Re: Hens picking on Injured Chicken

I think its very common for them to do that, altho I have not a clue why.  They are attracted to blood color for one, but sometimes they seem to find a wound that doesnt even show to our eyes. 

Sorry your little girl was getting beat up, they can and will kill an injured one if they are left to themselves.  Good thing you were home and caught it.    Poor thing.  therethere


Jill~Chicken mom to six chicken children!

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#3 10-13-2008 08:33:48

Queen of the Lilliputians
Gone fishing
From: Maine
Registered: 02-03-2008
Posts: 3907
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Re: Hens picking on Injured Chicken

Why they do it:  idk.  Maybe it's a cannibal thing.  Maybe it's because weak/bleeding members attract predators.  Maybe it's because they have pea sized brains and it just looks interesting.

The fact is though that they do it.  It's sad.  Chicken society isn't nice to weak members, that's for sure.  They aren't a very sympathetic group, for the most part.

Glad you got your girl to safety!  Once she's completely better they should leave her alone, poor thing. 


Meghan


Former ruler-wielding nun at a catholic school

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#4 10-13-2008 08:42:51

chickn
Double Platinum
From: new hampshire
Registered: 03-18-2008
Posts: 2719
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Re: Hens picking on Injured Chicken

i think they do it for survival reasons, get rid of the sick and weak and save the flock.


frizzled polish and polish, sizzles and silkies, std cochins, mille d'uccles,
always interested in trading eggs

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#5 10-13-2008 08:48:40

paganfish
The Ancient Chicken Sage
From: Fleming, Colorado
Registered: 02-02-2008
Posts: 10120

Re: Hens picking on Injured Chicken

chickn wrote:

i think they do it for survival reasons, get rid of the sick and weak and save the flock.

I tend to agree with this most...although they are cannibalistic by nature their instincts are at full drive here.

Or I hope...?

shrug


"I put a capital N on nature and call it my church."
-Frank Lloyd Wright
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#6 10-13-2008 05:08:56

Chickenlyn23
Silver Member
From: Corning, Ohio
Registered: 10-05-2008
Posts: 243

Re: Hens picking on Injured Chicken

I have never had this happen to my chickens yet.  Thankfully.  I have heard about it.  I think you are supposed to reintroduce your completely healed chicken slowly the same way you introduce a new chicken or they may do it again.  I hope she is OK.

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#7 10-13-2008 06:30:49

picklespickles
Silver Member
Registered: 08-31-2008
Posts: 358

Re: Hens picking on Injured Chicken

i have had people give me chickens this was happening to and also the ones that were picking on them, too. here, they're not penned in, so i think that while they will have definite groups and chase each other around, they don't pick and kill. i think simply because with bigger place to run in and stuff to hide around, fly up in or whatever, they couldn't catch each other. i got a bird with a gigantic hole picked in it last year and both of the pickers, too, and she healed up nicely. they say sunflower seeds help with healing. i gave her tons. dont' know if it helped, but it sure didn't hurt. 

i DON'T mean everybody should just let theirs run around like me. i have a higher tolerance for that than most, i know. wink. just that their cannibal thing, their nature to pick about at things to eat and then the close proximity of fun stuff to pick on (poor injured chicken friend) is just too much for them.

i think keeping her with the ducks sounds cool. if that works, hell, just leave her there. she might be happier. it would be terrible if you put her back in and they finished her off one day. but then maybe it's not feasible to keep her with the ducks. i don't know.

anyway. i'm glad you were there to help her out. you're a good chicken mama.

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#8 10-13-2008 07:20:45

johnnyjack
gone fishing
From: south carolina
Registered: 12-16-2007
Posts: 5391
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Re: Hens picking on Injured Chicken

hey patch highfive good to see ya. greet

iv been through something like this before.  http://www.chickencrossing.org/forum/vi … 10&p=1

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#9 10-24-2008 04:51:46

Patchofheaven
Platinum Member
From: Conroe, TX
Registered: 02-05-2008
Posts: 1024

Re: Hens picking on Injured Chicken

Yesterday was pretty windy around here and apparently I did not close the gate good enough that separates the injured chickens from the rest of the flock.  I heard alot of commotion and looked out at the pens and saw that alot of the flock was in the injured chickens' pen.  When I got out there I saw that the chicken that we had named "Lucky" (who survived a coon attack, but had lost use of her leg) was dead.  This was so dissapointing because she has been doing so good and adapting well to hopping around on one leg.   sad  I've secured the gate much better now and hopefully we won't have the same thing happen again.  Sometimes I really hate having to learn from my mistakes.

Dana

Last edited by Patchofheaven (10-24-2008 04:57:07)


Love would never be a promise of a rose garden, unless it is showered with light of faith, water of sincerity and air of passion.

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#10 10-24-2008 04:59:33

Queen of the Lilliputians
Gone fishing
From: Maine
Registered: 02-03-2008
Posts: 3907
Website

Re: Hens picking on Injured Chicken

huga huga  I'm so sorry about Lucky!

You gave her more of a chance than most people would.  She was a lucky girl.


Former ruler-wielding nun at a catholic school

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