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Flock is hurting one bird - I'm afraid they're going to kill him

We had 7 guineas. Two were killed by foxes in April, so now we only have 5. But one of them is Tiny Tim, a smaller bird who has always had a misshapen wing on one side, and a pronounced limp. He keeps up with the others just fine, and they always accepted him. (There was another who they would pick on occasionally, but that was one of the ones we lost.)

Somehow those two losses changed the dynamic of our flock. In the last couple weeks, the remainder of the flock has taken after Tiny Tim with a vengeance. They won't let him up in the coop when it's raining, so he stays down in the run and gets soaked. They won't let him range around with them, but constantly drive him away. He can't even be in sight most of the time, or they'll attack him. This morning, I found him huddled in a muddy corner of the run. His whole back end had been badly pecked. I thought he was dead at first.

I put him in an old wire dog crate, and he didn't even object when I picked him up. I know it's better for him to be with other birds, but I'm afraid they're going to kill him. I swear, they were NOT mean like this before!

Is there anything at all I can do for Tiny Tim? Is there a way to motivate the others to accept him again? Please tell me there's a way to help him!

Comments

Unfortunately, I don't have any reassuring words to offer, but I am certain you did the right thing by separating him from the others. I believe it is rare for guineas to kill birds low in the pecking order, but I do know that it does happen. I had a situation with my own guineas where one male was constantly pecked at by the alpha male. I had to separate them with wire within the coop. That seemed to work, although they would still peck at each other through the wire (which I had to reinforce with another layer of wire). While out on range, they would keep the low bird away from the flock with only a minimum of trouble. I always chaperoned them when going into the coop to make sure that the low bird entered his own space where he would be safe. It wasn't an easy solution, but it certainly helped.

Thanks for your reply. He had a few days of peace in the dog crate, but he never seemed to improve, and he died yesterday morning. I'm still trying to figure out what happened. They were fine with him for a year, and then they suddenly turned on him. It was obvious from the beginning that there was something wrong with him, so I wonder if it had to do with that. If something inside him was getting worse, and he was slowly dying anyway, maybe it reached a point where they just decided he was a liability. We'll never know. I'd always told the kids it was possible Tiny Tim wouldn't be with us long, since we didn't know what was wrong. Now I just need to remind myself of that.

So now, within a month and a half, we're down from 7 guineas to 4. I'm feeling very discouraged.

I suspect you could be right in that the rest of the flock sensed he was a liability.  That's not very comforting, but it does help to understand what might have happened. I am so sorry this happened, and I can understand your frustration.  Hopefully, things will get better as you all adjust to the flock's smaller size.