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Feather-pecking son-of-guns

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi~

I have a flock of 11 (now 10 chickens in my backyard). I have been dealing with feather pecking for over a year now. I've tried different things: Blu-Kote, chicken saddles, adding kitten food and meal worms for protein, adding "stuff" to do to entertain them. The coop is large, the run is long. The only thing is that nothing natural grows there because well, chickens.

 

We just found one dead in the coop. She was the most henpecked one with feather's missing under her chin. I'd separated her 2 weeks ago because I saw her wing was spilling blood from where a feather had been plucked. 

 

The chicken was lying dead near the fence. Her head was still attached, but her beak looked smashed and her combed looked all messed up. Her abdomen was eaten, but I wonder if the chickens got her down and then a cat or something took advantage of the downed/dead chicken.

 

I am really beginning to hate this brood. I hate that they have a taste for feathers. I don't like killing anything, but I'm sick of this behavior and I feel like I'm at my wits end. If they are killing each other I don't know what to do. 

 

Would they eat a chicken if it was already dead?  

 

Kelly 

post #2 of 5

I don't want to discourage you but chickens basic feelings toward each other is either to do lunch or else you are lunch. 

 

However It sounds to me like you have some serious mite issues.  Some mite infestations result in chickens plucking out their own feathers in a failed attempt to find relief.

 

I feel like a mammal of the varmint variety killed you hen, likely a possum. 


Edited by chickengeorgeto - 5/9/16 at 10:40pm
Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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post #3 of 5
How big - feet by feet are your coop and run? Too often, coops advertised for a certain number of birds are really only adequate for half the amount. I also don't believe in the "square feet per bird" rule. Watch your flock. Feather picking is one sign of over crowding. Do they ever get to range in your yard?

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly0619 View Post
 

.....The coop is large, the run is long. .....

How 'large' in feet by feet?

Ha! bobbi-j and I tyng at same time!

 

Also, exactly what and how are you feeding? 

 

Could be several issues contributing to your issues.

More info would help us help you.

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 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post

How 'large' in feet by feet?
Ha! bobbi-j and I tyng at same time!

Also, exactly what and how are you feeding? 

Could be several issues contributing to your issues.
More info would help us help you.

Well Aart, as a good friend of mine says, "Great minds run amok" smile.png

OP, pictures of your setup would be very helpful.
Edited by bobbi-j - 5/10/16 at 6:32am

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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