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Shelleyloveshens

bullied hen?

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Little kate is about 21weeks old and fitted in quite well with the other girls when she arrived about 3 weeks ago. She is very friendly but has a terrible smell about her - appears to be eating and drinking ok, alert, clean bum but I noticed she has a damaged beak with the top part being shorter than than the bottom which I have noticed causes her some problems in picking up little bits of corn. She has now stopped going in the coop and the other girls all seem to have a go if she is near them. Kate has taken to being on her own and avoids the others so I am worried that she may be ill and the others are picking on her whilst she is not at her best. Any suggestions?? Shelley

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From my experience, a hen without an entire beak is less able to to defend herself. She can't give a "buzz off" peck back to the other chooks. Also like you say she will likely have more trouble eating. I have two Omlet chooks - one with an entire beak and one with some beak missing, which has not regrown, and has caused some suffering for the poor hen.

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....oh and I had to resort to a bumper bit (on the bully). That was the only thing that worked to stop her pecking/bullying. Also I feed the victim bird her treats "in private" so that she doesn't get hassled. It is a real nuisance.

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Thanks for that. She seems to want to take food direct from me rather than the feeder, probably because the others are giving her grief. Poor thing. Thought the beak would regrow so I will just keep a close eye on her. I have a separate coop so if push comes to shove maybe putting Kate elsewhere will be the answer maybe with a couple of younger hens for company.

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I had a bird with a short upper beak that whilst lower in the pecking order, through her general nature,got on perfectly well. Picking up small pieces of food from hard ground was trickier but not a huge problem. Short beaks like this don't usually regrow. She should be able to cope best when the food is not in thin layers so feeding from a bowl of feeder full of food should be fine. She will probably cope with pellets better than mash. Can you add extra feeder to stop the tops chooks from guarding all of the feeders.?

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I have put an extra feeder out to see if that makes a difference. Went to lock them up last nite and she was sitting on top of the coop again. I'm still not sure if she is unwell or not. She is a bit lethargic and still has an odd smell about her. I had a good look under and between her feathers yesterday and some of the are matted at the base. Wondered if this could be the strange smell? Wonder if it is worth keeping her on her own?

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I think my only option is to call the vet. I don't know what's wrong but I know she is not right and I'm worried about her. The more I'm reading I'm thinking she could have anything from worms to being egg bound. I just don't know enough. She isn't even interested in mealworms ! But is still eating pellets and drinking but half the time she is falling asleep. Oh dear!

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many ex bats have odd beaks due to the cruel debeaking process.

A hens beak has many nerve endings and contrary to what many think it is very sensitive.

There are all sorts over shot under shot overshot and to one side undershot and to one side. I have one with extra bits grown up on each side of the lower beak.

Most manage just fine and mash can be easier as they grab mouthfuls, though wet mash I have read is best for them,. You may need more than one extra feeder though. The cheap little D cups are just fine, Don't forget extra water as well. :)

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Hi. Had another good look this am and her feathers are matted underneath her wings. This is where the bad smell is coming from. No sign of lice. Have put natural yoghurt on incase it's fungal? Should I bathe them or is their sumthing else I Shud be doing? She is a bit perkier today and I have put her on her own away frm the others.

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Would not want yoghurt under wings esp this weather. yes bath her. she should not smell. I hadone from someone once a she stunk awful, on bathing I discovered THE most horrific abscess on a nasty injury.

A hole that went all the way through her neck and food and water leaked out, (she made a full recovery)

but the abscess was DISGUSTING...

omg the smell....

i would worry the yoghurt would attract flies and getting pecked to eat it off by the others.

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I still think that if you are unsure and inexperienced you are better off going to a vet for a check over. Live yoghurt has it's uses in food for certain conditions but it is not something that is used topically. The best thing for bathing is dilute salt water (saline) and teaspoon per pint of water. The yoghurt will sour and could attract both bacteria and flies.

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Thanks for that. She has definitely perked up. I bathed her this am just with cool boiled water. Will have to do this a few times I think. She is so tame and very calm so it wasn't a problem for her. The cotton wool looked really dirty by the time I had finished. Feathers are matted but clear at the point they go into the skin. A good thing? Will see how she goes over the next few days with bathing and if no improvement then it will have to be the vets. Its really good to see her clearly feeling better but can't let her go on with matted feathers under her wings. fingers crossed.

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