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Newbie from New Jersey needs advise

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi I'm Todd I'm very new to raising chickens. I have 4 hens and 1 rooster all Rhode Island reds. I've had them for about 2 months. 2 of my hens and my rooster have their feathers ripped out on theirs backs the worst one is about the size of an apple. I don't kno if they are sick or what any advise? Also the hens haven't layed eggs yet not sure if they are too young or what. I kno the rooster is young because he is just starting to cock-a-doodle-doo and isn't very good at it yet lol also there are little nubs where his talons should be. I think the hens and him are about the same age. They all look full grown size tho so I don't know lol any help would be greatly appreciated big_smile.png
Edited by toddyboy - 2/12/16 at 6:26pm
post #2 of 7

Hi, Todd, welcome to BYC.  It sounds as if one or more of your birds are feather plucking/eating.  They will do this sometimes out of boredom when confined.  If they start drawing blood you may need to outfit them with Pin Less Peepers.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you!! I kept them in a run and house for the first month so they would know that's where they live. now I let them out all day so maybe it will stop?
post #4 of 7

Welcome to BYC!

 

Sounds like your cockerel is just 'coming of age'...can be a rough time for both pullets and keeper.

His 'talons'...actually called spurs, won't get bigger until he gets older.

Here's glossary of terms that you might find interesting:

 http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/glossary-definitions-of-common-terms-for-raising-backyard-chickens

 

How big is their coop(feet by feet)? Crowding stress can cause feather picking.

What exactly are you feeding? Feather picking/eating can be caused by lack of protein.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #5 of 7

Hi Todd and welcome to BYC - you have some great advice from experienced members, so I'll just say a big hello and hope that all goes well.

 

Cheers

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post

Welcome to BYC!

Sounds like your cockerel is just 'coming of age'...can be a rough time for both pullets and keeper.
His 'talons'...actually called spurs, won't get bigger until he gets older.
Here's glossary of terms that you might find interesting:
 http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/glossary-definitions-of-common-terms-for-raising-backyard-chickens

How big is their coop(feet by feet)? Crowding stress can cause feather picking.
What exactly are you feeding? Feather picking/eating can be caused by lack of protein.


The run is about 4by5 the house is 4.5 by 4.5 2 levels I'm letting them out to free range every morning. I'm feeding them organic egg layer pellets and a corn scratch
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by toddyboy View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post

Welcome to BYC!

Sounds like your cockerel is just 'coming of age'...can be a rough time for both pullets and keeper.
His 'talons'...actually called spurs, won't get bigger until he gets older.
Here's glossary of terms that you might find interesting:
 http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/glossary-definitions-of-common-terms-for-raising-backyard-chickens

How big is their coop(feet by feet)? Crowding stress can cause feather picking.
What exactly are you feeding? Feather picking/eating can be caused by lack of protein.


The run is about 4by5 the house is 4.5 by 4.5 2 levels I'm letting them out to free range every morning. I'm feeding them organic egg layer pellets and a corn scratch

That space may be too small, IMO.

Not sure what you mean by '2 levels'.....can you post a pic?

 

Layer pellets and scratch might be too little protein....depending on protein levels and amounts of each that you feed.

What is the protein level of the layer feed and scratch? (label sewn to bottom of bag should have it listed).

 

The male to female ratio you have may be too small, depending on cockerels demeanor.

You may want to keep cockerel separate until they all grow up a bit....like after the pullets have been laying for a few weeks.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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