Originally Posted by PapaChaz
just checking back in with an update. I started putting the peck no more on the rooster, and that got her to stop pecking at him and his feathers have all grown back in. BUT, then she started pecking her own feathers out!
I believe this to be a protein deficiency, although none of the other chickens are doing it. I've covered her with peck no more and switched to a 22% layer pellets. I'm getting very few eggs, so hopefully the extra protein will take care of it.
I know it's not over crowding, I only have 11 in this particular coop and run, and the run is over 220 square feet. I usually hang them a head of cabbage to peck at, though it gets gone pretty quickly. My next trip to TSC I'm going to check on the treat blocks and see if that will help. If it will last more than just a few hours, LOL
Funny that you posted this. I now have Percy & Bertha separated from one another. They have been separated since Christmas. Bertha is living in the smaller coop with the rooster Goliath. They seem to be doing well together, although she has not laid an egg for several months. I think they are just roommates. Both appear to have all of their feathers intact, which means that Bertha is not pecking him. That makes me very happy. She is even growing more feathers herself, and is actually looking more like a Silkie, which I am sure she is part, due to her black skin, legs, and eyes, as well as her blue ears. She attacked the barn cat one day a couple of weeks ago, and I felt sure that she would have to go as soon as it gets warm out. However, this weekend she changed somehow. She actually came out of the coop & didn't run away from me. She voluntarily sat on my lap for over 30 minutes & let me pet her. She has let me pet her several times since then, and no longer seems terrified of me. I hope she has been reformed & can live happily on our farm.
So, also this weekend, I was cleaning out the big coop where Percy lives with my babies. I can't even give a guess at how many white feathers are in the coop. She's the only white one in there. I am very certain the others aren't pecking her; I am sure that she is pecking her OWN feathers! Her tail has filled in some, and there are some new feathers on her butt, but it still has bare spots. I don't know what to think. I'm all for rescuing unwanted or abused animals, but these two are making me nuts!
Since it has been cold & snowing recently, their free ranging has been supplemented with cabbage and fresh vegetables daily (corn, peas, carrots, beans), as well as oatmeal, raisins, mealworms, sunflower seeds, etc. I am 100% positive this is not nutrition related. I know sometimes broody hens will pull their feathers out to keep their eggs warm, but while she has been laying pretty much daily, she isn't broody at all. I give up trying to fix it. They are all obviously very healthy, and aside from bizarre behavior, I hope they are all happy. That's the best I can do!
Bertha & Goliath
Goliath with the girls -- Percy is the white one!