Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chicken Trouble

There's trouble in our flock of chickens. A few weeks ago, the entire flock turned on one chicken, a Rhode Island White who has always been pretty high in the pecking order. They weren't just challenging her, they were going for blood. We watched two chickens in particular jump on top of her and latch onto her comb and neck; the others joined in.

We removed the injured bird and have been treating a pretty sizeable wound on her neck. She's living in the chicken tractor, and has spent some of the colder nights in our bathtub, since the tractor has no coop built-in. We're not going to attempt to reintegrate her until the wound is fully healed, and we will probably remove the two ringleaders for several days beforehand, to knock them down a peg in the pecking order.

I can't find any information on Backyard Chicken that describes this situation or what might cause it. I suspect she may have been sick or injured already, and her flock mates sensed this. There's been a new cat lurking in the yard that is very interested in the chickens. Maybe he took a swipe at her and drew blood?

If any of you out there have any insight into this problem, please, please advise.

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