BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying › Bullying has gotten out of hand
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Bullying has gotten out of hand - Page 2

post #11 of 15
I've got a question for you,
Are there feathers everywhere? If there are quite a few birds being plucked, large wounds... If you're not finding those feathers maybe your birds could benefit from a bit more protein.
Although I agree completely that two cockerels in an enclosed flock like yours will eventually stem trouble, even if this problem is a pullet with an appetite for feathers, or just a bad habit out of boredom.
Even when you've got the sqft they recommend for coop & run you can get behavioral issues. Your house is big enough for you to live in, but eventually you get bored, right? I like to change things up in my run fairly often. Most recently I brought in a 4 ft long slightly rotten stump and just laid it in the middle. You would be amazed what can occupy a chicken, but they will eventually get bored with the same old same old.
If you determine it is a pullet eating or plucking out of meanness/boredom, I would cull her. Its always hard to cull a young female chicken but it would be hard to sell honestly a pullet with that habit. They do sell some kind of facial accesory you put on the bird to keep her from doing this.. If you're into those types of solutions. That would be after you determine the culprit & confirm its not a nutritional lack of protein...
Keep us posted, hope for a speedy recovery of your big rooster.
Happy holidays to you & yours.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Good point. There are not as many feathers as I would expect, and I've seen one of the hens eating feathers. Although they are on a "complete" diet, it probably wouldn't hurt to increase the protein. They do get mealworms as treats, but not enough. I think I'll try dry cat food. If I hide it in their litter they'll have something to do, and it has 30% protein. The rotten stump is a good thought, too. Thanks for the suggestion! Before removing one of the roosters, I decided to spend a few hours just sitting in the coop watching how they interact and I saw something interesting. When one of the roosters mounted a hen, the other tried to pull him off the hen by grabbing him by the tail. Eureka! At least that explains how the rooster got his wounds, but not the hens. I put the Rock roo on Craig's list ( yes, I'll make sure it's not for cockfighting.)
post #13 of 15
I've personally fed my chickens some dry cat food and they love it! I feed my flock %18 grower with oyster shell on the side, not all of my birds are laying and I dont like the idea of over doing the calcium for my rooster. Unfortunately I can't get anything higher protein in a pellet & there is more waste with crumble, which is always on my nerves.
I wouldn't worry much about someone looking for a barred rock rooster for cock fighting in my area, there are a number of fantastic game birds around here that I'm sure are preferred.. hmm.png ?? Wish you luck finding someone to take him! Sometimes they sell for money quickly for me, sometimes they dont sell and they become dinner.

There are lots of ideas on here for chicken enrichment, some of them are genius and some just hilarious! I stick to natural (free) ideas. Some days I'll just dump a bag of leaves in a pile. Instant entertainment. I haven't had to delve deeper into entertaining them just yet because my birds usually free range but certain instances keep them cooped up longer periods of time (for instance for the last week the migrating bald eagles are visiting, no thank you!)
I bet you'll have some serious improvement with one less rooster and some more protein. Depending on how long they've been doing this they coulve habitiualized the behavior, hopefully not, but if after a bit on the cat food supplement you're still getting fresh plucking make use of those dog crates and isolate one at a time until you can find the habitual plucker. Sometimes just some time in the crate with good nutrition and no ability to pluck will reboot her chicken mind and she'll quit. Sometimes they just pluck, people buy those "pinless peepers" for that I believe. I've not looked into the price of those, but if they were more than the price of a hen...?? hmm.png
Thanks for the update. I love days when I can spend time observing the flock dynamics, few and far between!
Sorry about the rambling, Ash.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Just a follow-up for anyone following this thread. I tried most of the suggestions people gave me (thanks so much to all of you!) and the problem appears to have resolved. :weee

 

1. I removed the Barred Rock rooster from the coop. (He's still looking for a home)

2. I put 2 rotten stumps and a big pile of leaves into the outdoor run. The stumps were a big hit!

3. I started giving them dry cat food treats (about a cup every other day), alternating with live mealworms. They love the cat food, but it gave some of them a little diarrhea so I cut back to 3/4 cup. I am going to switch to the 18% protein poultry breeder pellets, but I had to order it and I haven't started it yet. 

4. I continued spraying Blu-kote on the raw areas as they healed. I found that it is easiest to do at night, when the chickens are on their roosts and half asleep. (word to the wise- putting Blu-kote on chicken behinds = purple striped eggs, purple fingers, purple jackets, purple boots...). 

 

My buff is back with the flock, and bullying has been drastically reduced. There's still some feather pulling/eating going on, but less than before. 

 

Again, thanks to all of you for your excellent advice!

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenia's Chickens View Post

Just a follow-up for anyone following this thread. I tried most of the suggestions people gave me (thanks so much to all of you!) and the problem appears to have resolved. wee.gif

1. I removed the Barred Rock rooster from the coop. (He's still looking for a home)
2. I put 2 rotten stumps and a big pile of leaves into the outdoor run. The stumps were a big hit!
3. I started giving them dry cat food treats (about a cup every other day), alternating with live mealworms. They love the cat food, but it gave some of them a little diarrhea so I cut back to 3/4 cup. I am going to switch to the 18% protein poultry breeder pellets, but I had to order it and I haven't started it yet. 
4. I continued spraying Blu-kote on the raw areas as they healed. I found that it is easiest to do at night, when the chickens are on their roosts and half asleep. (word to the wise- putting Blu-kote on chicken behinds = purple striped eggs, purple fingers, purple jackets, purple boots...). 

My buff is back with the flock, and bullying has been drastically reduced. There's still some feather pulling/eating going on, but less than before. 

Again, thanks to all of you for your excellent advice!

That is so great that things are gettting better!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying › Bullying has gotten out of hand