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The Mcconnochies

Urgent help needed...

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Some urgent help needed please :wall:


We are relatively new to the chicken keeping game and have had 3 deaths so far...2 from fox and one from prolapse/pecked to death. We have replaced over time and now have 3 chooks.


We have been having some serious pecking order issues with 1 dominant bird (MIss Moneypenny) inflicting injury on the others. One of the less dominant birds (Molly) now has a nasty open would on its left side and the other less dominant chook (Ruby) has what looks like a prolapse or pecking injury around its vent. The prolapse/pecking injury is looking better and healing nicely but she is not laying again yet (the other two are happily laying).


The action we have taken is to isolate the dominant bird for about 5 days but the behaviour returned the instant it was put back with the other two. We also then isolated the birds that were injured until they healed and also introduce the 'anti-peck' spray. However the peck spray seems ineffective as they are still being pecked by the dominant bird. As a last resort I have isolated the dominant bird just to give the others a chance however its not an ideal scenario as the only way to isolate it is with a pet carrier so it doesn't have much space.


A couple of thoughts going through my mind are:


- Given that we are using a wooden coop could there be some sort of infestation of lice/mites that is causing the chooks to be unhealthy or the bad behaviour?


- Is the only solution to re-home the dominant bird?


- Is there something about the food they are eating that makes them unhealthy or something that is missing? They have layers pellets (poultry spice added), corn in the afternoon, clean water daily and some meal worms as well as s"Ooops, word censored!"s (cabbage etc).


- Any advice on how to encourage healing in both the injured chooks?


To be honest it is getting to the point where I'm almost ready to give up. I hate seeing them like this and I feel out of ideas.


Urgent help needed please....





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It's probably worth thinking about fitting your bully hen with a bumper bit. This prevents the hen from feather pulling and injuring the others.

It would also be a good idea to keep some purple spray in your chook first aid kit. It can be sprayed onto any wound to disguise the area and therefore discourage the other hens from continually pecking at the wound, and it is also antiseptic.

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Poor you and I know how you feel. One of our original Omlet hens was a dreadful bully, often drawing blood on the other 3 ladies. We rehomed her after 6 months of trying to put it right ourselves. She went to live with a cockarel to keep her in check!


I can also recommend bumper bits. I have used these to great effect but to make putting them on easier I would suggest you get a bumper bit fitter. It is like a "gun" that you load with the bits and it makes putting one on so simple. It is extremely tricky without one! Any really good chicken supplier would stock one and I think they are about £20 but well worth the money. We got ours from Wernlas which have an on line shop. Bumper bits do stop the bullying completely in my experience (until it falls off!) however I have heard that some chickens learn to pull feathers with one on! :shock:


One other cheaper suggestion which I haven't used personally is to put vaseline on the area which is being pecked. Apparently the bully hates getting the oily stuff on its beak! May be worth a try?


Good luck and I hope you get it sorted!

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I truly sympathise :(

We introduced 2 new girls on New Years day and the smallest one has had a horrible time. I've tried anti-pecking spray, gentian violet, vicks vaporub (smelly and sticky), separating the new girls and two other friends from the 4 bullies in the daytime and spraying them all with weak vinegar at night so they all smell the same.

No joy - the big girls were in the Cube run with the others in the extended run and she just kept leaning on the wire with them pecking through it. :wall:

Absolutely heartbreaking. I rang the breeder to ask if she could go and live with some chicks and even considered putting her (and me) out of this horrible misery.

Then last week - bumper bits. Oh boy - Peace reigned within half an hour. :dance:

One of the bullies got a few feathers yesterday but a loud clap on a plastic kneeling pad shocked her out of it and today they're all happily scratching around together again.

Do try - and please keep us informed.

I only hope I haven't spoken too soon for my girl :?

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Sorry if I've missed this, but how much space do they have? It might be worthwhile seeing if more space helps things, as often bullying is compounded by lack of enough space for them to get away from each other.


Sorry you're having such a rough time of it!



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We had very similar issues and the end result was a vet visit, which found they also had lice _ tiny blighters :evil: So we treated with a topical treatment, scrubbed out our wooden house , sprayed and gave them supplements. All on top of a bumpa bit on Flo. I keep her with one as this seriously sorted the neck pecking. Just make sure u get the curclip pliers as they make fitting a whole lot easier. Flo even sits very patiently when being fitted, and doesn't notice a thing. I find it easier to put on @ bedtime as easier to get hold of her. They now reside in peace together.


Good luck, and stay with i, it can be sorted.

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Perhaps the ones I bought (off ebay, £1.50 for 5 + 60p p&P) aren't as substantial as the Omlet ones but I didn't need the circlip pliers. Just soaked them in hot water for a few minutes first.

OH held each naughty hen wrapped in a towel, nice and cosy under his arm and I slipped the 'bit' in her beak with the prongs above her beak then pulled them apart and popped them in her nostrils. I won't say they liked me messing around their heads but only took a few seconds and they've been in about 10 days.


Eglutyne's may be equally easy..? (If not, I'll send you one of mine)

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I had a couple of girls bullying, they were pulling feathers to each other!


I was advised not to give them corn any more as it can act like "e" numbers do to children. I stopped giving them corn straight away and it did seem to calm them. I also use violet spray and a bumper bit, they worked for a while but OH did also enlarge the run, this really was the best thing for them, I also put a straw bale in their run so they can pull it to bits and have something to rootle through when theyre confined. Keeps them busy!

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Thank you all for the great advice. They are currently separated and Miss Moneypenny will have her bumpa bits fitted tomorrow. They have a good 5-6 sq m space and have been able to free range a bit but only when we can watch them. We are planning a new wir for later this year as the rabbits want their run back, but that involves planning the garden first!


The other two are much happier now they aren't being pecked, so hopefully this will sort the issue. We are now well stocked with all sorts of chicken emergency supplies!

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