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Feather pecking

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello, I have 3 Ameraucana's they are 7 months old.... One of them has started peeking the other two tail feathers out. Today one of them is actually bloody?? I have read that Vics rub is it ok to use to discourage the pecking it is ok to us even on the raw skin has anyone tried this before??. I recently changed their food. Their coop was rated for 4 chickens but I felt it was too small so I only got 3 chickens. They have apporx 30 sq feet of coop area but I free range them for most of the day pinning them up at night. What can I do?
post #2 of 12

The Vick's is a substitute for Rooster Booster Pick-no-mor. But it helps to add powdered grape flavored Kool-aid to it for full effect. I add a dash of Pepto Bismol for an even closer replication.


But first paint some Blu-kote on the bloody areas and wait for it to heal before applying the Vick's concoction. It will irritate and cause pain if applied on any open wounds.


My guess is your picker is taking advantage of the close quarters around the roosting perch to snatch tail feathers. You need to observe at roosting time to see exactly what's going on. You may need to move the perch so another hen can't get below the others and do evil.

post #3 of 12

If you can identify the culprit, you may wish to consider isolating her on a night time for a week or so - it will give your victim time to heal and maybe help the culprit forget that feather pecking is a good pastime. 



Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the advice I did what you suggested. I have identified the pecked. So I made their coop and yard area a lot bigger!! They now have about 100 square feet of yard and I still let them out to roam the backyard.. The newest issue my timid hen Mabel got stuck somehow between the water and fencing. The other two attached her and did some real damage underneath her wings. I am treating these wounds with 50/50 water iodine, then putting oniment on as per my vet instructions. My problem now Mabel the hurt one is so skittish around the other two with good reason... As Alice the know pecker is relentless on pecking Mabel, my other hen Hazel is missing feathers also because of Alice but she stands her ground. I have Alice and Hazel together they seem ok but Mabel is still pecked on so I have her separate from the other 2. This only started recently.. Can I stop this?? Or do I need to get rid of the pecker?? Alice is a good egg later... Thank you for any and all advice!!!
post #5 of 12
I guess you could try to increase the level of protein in their diet and give vitamin supplements. Personally I would try isolating the pecker once Mabel has recovered from her injuries. In your situation I would get rid of the aggressor if, after separation she continues.

Good luck
Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya
post #6 of 12
Hi! Not sure how to post as a new thread so I'll do it here. I have 8 six week old birds. All of different breeds. The victim is a dark brahma who is by far my largest bird. The peckers are a very small silkie and a buff brahma. My silkie is at the very bottom of the pecking order, and I often wonder if she's getting enough to eat. I wonder if that's related. They have plenty of space as they are not at all full grown. They are getting grower feed and have access to a large run all day. I put bitter Apple spray on her tonight. I had it, so I thought id try it. What else should I do? I'm very worried and I wAnt it to stop!!
post #7 of 12
Help meeeee!!!!!! Please?
post #8 of 12
Why are you worried some are not getting enough food, are you rationing the food or do they have 24/7 access to as much as they want to eat? If you are rationing it stop doing that and give it to them free choice...

When you say you have plenty of room that is not quantitative, can you elaborate on coop/run square footage and the number of birds?

Excessive feather plucking in among hens is generally a sign of too little space or insufficient diet and sometimes just excessive pecking order but more space so they can segregate generally alleviates that...
post #9 of 12
Yes, they do have access to food all day. 8 birds and 2 continuous gravity feeders. 8 seven week old birds have 25 sq feet of coop and 50 sq feet of run. The run is available to them 6 am till about 9 pm right now
post #10 of 12
The run IMO is too small for 8 birds, if you double it's size you might see the issues subside... Increasing the size of the run will also allow you to put 'obstacles' in the run like chairs, branches, tables or what not that allow picked on birds a refuge to hide among when being chased or picked on...
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