I am currently petsitting for a family that has 2 geese, a duck, 8 chickens and a dog. On Tuesday afternoon i was taking care of the chickens and noticed one of the hens was hiding in a corner and she wouldnt move. i picked her up and noticed that her eye had been injured and all the feathers on her neck and back were missing. i'm assuming another hen, or possibly one of the roosters got ahold of her and caused the damage. i took her away from the other chickens and brought her to my work to have her checked out. best as we could tell her eye had been pecked out, her beak had been pecked to hell as well, right into her sinuses. i have some eye ointment and panalog and have been applying both medications twice a day since tuesday night. i have her seperated, in a dog crate, until she heals. The owners are aware of everything but they won't be back for another 2 weeks.
so there are a few things i am wondering about. first, is this normal for chickens to treat one another this way ? could it be that maybe now that there is a younger rooster in the mix, that things are a little more tense in their housing arrangement ? is it possible that maybe there is something wrong with this particular chicken and the others sensed it and tried to kill her ? she seems ok in the crate and it looks like her eye area is healing nicely, her neck is not red or raw looking anymore and she seems to be acting like a "normal" chicken to me, but i am not knowledgable about chickens so i could be missing something subtle.
the top rooster, or the older one i should say, seems to have picked another hen to harass. it may not even be harrassing this other one but he is constantly chasing her around and getting on top of her. unlike nonny, the other hen, this one has not been maimed in anyway and while she crouches to the ground when the rosster is around her, she is acting like her normal self when he isn't around. do i need to take this one out of the shed also? if i did, would the rooster turn his attention to another hen until i have to pull all the hens out of there ?
the owners had decided before they left that they were going to get rid of at least one of the roosters, if not both of them. they know some guy who keeps only roosters, no hens, and he offered to take one or both of them. i didn't think you could keep roosters together, i thought they would fight one another. will they not fight one another if there are no hens to fight over ? i would just hate to see them go to some guy who fights them. i told that to the people i am petsitting for and they assured me that wasn't the case with this guy. i just thought it odd that he keeps only the males, when most people i know get rid of their roosters because they are so nasty when they grow up.
any advice to get me through the next couple weeks with these guys would be great !!
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.