Bloody hens – again!

The pecked hen, showing the extruded and bloody vent

The pecked hen, showing the extruded and bloody vent

I have written about this before (11 September 2015) but I get really frustrated when one of my hens is getting pecked and bullied by the rest. We were down to four, since two were earlier pecked at the vent by their other flock members and I’d to put them down.

Two have recently been moulting and one of those had a rather bare backside, not helped when the others started to pick out the remaining loose feathers in that area. This hen, over the past few days, has had no life at all, since the others are constantly harassing it, giving it little time to feed, drink or rest. On Thursday they started to draw blood, making them even more intent on increasing the poor hen’s misery. I caught the hen up and saw that part of its insides were extruding, so tried to apply some Sudacream, but it would not stick to the area and was of little help.

The pecking continued throughout the day and at daylight on Friday morning I caught then hen up again while it was still on the perch.  It was in a mess and I could see no way that it was going to heal. That meant the end of the hen so now we are down to three.

I have had plenty of experience of hens in the past but it is only recently (the last three years) since we have had some at home. They are much more tame and friendly (towards us) than our ducks but they have this bloody annoying pecking order, plus the urge to home in on the slightest drop of blood. I’m increasing my 15-strong khaki Campbell duck flock by eight shortly but the jury is still out on whether to replace any hens.

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