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RIR Tail Feather Loss - Page 2

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJ View Post

That's what I would do before you get a full on cannibalism out break. A personal experience with the production reds.
The pecking ends when the mean bird dies. Next time you water the birds watch to see who drinks first. See who stands off to the side and waits. Are the ones that wait missing the most feathers? suspect #1 the prettiest one. Literally your birds are trying to eliminate competetion. In nature they would run off the other hen but confined hens have no where to run. It is a slow death so get rid of your bully/bullies and keep the sweeties.

The reds I had did this to my buffs and if i had known then what I know now I would have culled every red from my flock the day I saw the first buff bare back. Because two days later bare backs became bloody pecked to the bone backs.somad.gif  When the reds were culled all pecking stopped. Also free birds don't peck.

Pecking ends when mean bird dies - got it... I'll have to watch them on the roost for a while over the next few nights and see if I can find the mean bird. I know she's in there because their is one hen that tries to peck me sometimes. It's just identifying her is the problem
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by crealbilly View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post

Coop kinda small....so crowding may be part of the problem, regardless of run size.
What and how exactly are you feeding?

It's a drop box feeder that holds 2 50lb bags of feed - I put a 50lb bag in every two weeks or so. They have feed continuously. I also have a PVC pipe nipple water that holds about 4 gallons, I put about 1 1/2 gallons in a day. Both the feeder and the waterer are fillable from outside the coop. I only go in the coop once a day to scrape poo poo off the roosts. I am using deep litter on the floor have about 8" in there now - once a week I thow a nice covering of barn lime and DE ontop of the deep litter. I need to change out the litter in a few weeks and put it in the garden, it's good and composted - want to help? - :lol

What kind of feed....low protein can be the cause of picking.

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 #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post

What kind of feed....low protein can be the cause of picking.

16% layer pellets and once in a while when on sale - I'll buy a bag of 21% meatbird crumbles and dump in the drop box feeder. I don't feed them any scratch.



Both feeds are Rural King brand made by Cargill.
http://www.ruralking.com/layer-pellet-feed-16-50-value-46249.html

http://www.ruralking.com/meatbird-crumbles-feed-50lb-930006.html
Edited by crealbilly - 4/4/16 at 5:01pm
post #14 of 18

Scatch can help too as a chickens peck instinctively and scratch gives them a way to get the peck instinct out in a positive way. BOSS is a great scratch. Animal protien in the diet helps also as amino acid defiency gives us all wierd cravings. You can throw BOSS and meal worms to them for a protien rich scratch.

 

But free birds don't go cannibal or peck backs bald. Crowding is the issue. It may not be so much the number of birds or the breed as it is the individuals in your flock. Cabin fever is real. Things go stir crazy when they lack stimuli. Prison is a punishment for a reason. How else can I put it. You got some good birds locked up with a Hannibal Lecter. And the Hannibal bird is feeling crowded.


Edited by SJ - 4/4/16 at 7:52pm
post #15 of 18
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well I marked 4 of the 17 hens that still have feathers on their tails and backs. But even after watching a few nights I have yet to see the mean chicken in action. Are there any other signs / tests to help me find the mean chicken?
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
I finally caught mean chicken in the act of pecking the backs of the other hens. Well actually it was 2 mean hens I caught in the act and you guessed it they have all their back and tail feathers. I have both of them isolated from the rest of the flock. Its about time for a big ole pot of angry chicken soup smile.png hopefully things will calm down in the chicken yard some now and the hens will grow their feathers back. I ordered heritage RIR but I'm wondering if I might have got a couple production RIR mixed in? Or maybe they are just down right mean... who knows?
Edited by crealbilly - 5/6/16 at 6:55pm
post #18 of 18
They might not grow back for a while but as long as the chickens are healing it should be fine. I have one worn some damage from before we got her. She has had bear spots on her neck since before October, she's starting to molt a little now (her spots are a lot bigger then they use to be) I'm hoping it fills in properly after her molt
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