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Chickens Eating Each Other Literally - Page 2

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 

alright i think this needs more attention and more discussion. Ok a couple things to understand. They got adequate space. We read the book before we put up the coup up. They have a house and a huge court yard. We have added extra protein. But I saw something here in your replies that made sence. Yes they are bored because I can't let them out. They are confined and best solution I have found that at least eases the problem is spreading scratch all over the court yard. It keeps the busy but not for long. I also let them out 1 hour a day each day. Nothing beats the grass and bugs that they want. I can't let them free rage because we have the worst killers in my area. The hawks. If i let them go into the wide open without supervision they will be slaughtered in a day and we can't have roosters by law. They don't pluck each other when they are free ranging. But what I want to know is:

Growing their feathers back is my concern here. Because if they grow them back then they will stop picking at each other.   I need to figure out a couple of factors here. So  if they are molting so how long does molting last? Maybe molting lasts longer than i think...but for now I suspect they are eating either each others or their own young sprouting feathers. Perhaps the have lice or something that is eating the feathers? Because someone mentioned when they are molting they don't lay..well my hens lost feathers on their back but they are laying alright...i get close to 1 egg per hen a day, while i don't get 23 eggs we come close...Yet i strongly don't think lice are the case because I am not seeing signs of lice or mites. Also someone suggested knitting jackets. That is not an option because it is hot here. But cute idea thou. Next someone suggested using vicks...well then I read on these forums that vicks is dangerous and it will or can kill chickens and human...what? clarify please. When you guys let me know these things...put an explanation please because I am a noob so I need to know what you are talking about. Well alright hopefully this gives more insight.

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

btw i think it is chicken nature but...no matter how big space we give them..they go out into the court  yard and they lay in the sun next to each other. They like to croud.

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

One more thing since I am trying to provide with maximum information. Sometimes after 45 minutes of ranging they all stop. Then they go to one spot and start digging holes. Then they go into those holes. They go onto their sides and kick the dirt up with their legs. They gather like this in a bit *** pile. Just laying in the dirt, then digging more dirt onto themselves. Then they don't want to move what so ever. They drop dead weight. Then they get really aggressive if I try to move them. They peck my hand if I try to move someone next to them. Is this something to be concerned about? I think no right?

post #14 of 22

They are taking dust baths. :)  Dust baths are what helps keep the lice/mites down.  It's how they keep clean- totally normal, and great fun to watch, I think. Yes, they stick together- that's what a flock does.  :) Although, with ours (mixed breeds) they have little groups that they have that roam and I've got one who is more flighty than the others and she likes to fly into the garden every single day, lol.

 

The thinking behind upping the protein is that that's what in feathers- extra protein when they eat them.  Boosting the protein will also help them feather back faster, fwiw.

 

If you are able, I would suggest adding on to the run to give them even more space if you can't let them out. You might try giving them two (supervised) hours outside instead of just one.  Once it's warmer and you are cutting grass, grass clippings can keep them busy for a while.

 

No experience with the vicks. If adding space and upping protein doesn't work, I would seriously consider peepers.  It made a huge difference for us.

 

Lightweight cotton aprons?  You could even do mesh if you thought it would work.....

Homeschooling mama to 4, canning fanatic, yarnie, avid reader, and chicken addict! And somehow, we ended up with horses, too...........   

www.tikktok.wordpress.com



http://tikktok.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/fermented-feed-faq/
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Homeschooling mama to 4, canning fanatic, yarnie, avid reader, and chicken addict! And somehow, we ended up with horses, too...........   

www.tikktok.wordpress.com



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post #15 of 22

http://nankins.bravepages.com/Aprons.html

 

http://www.hensaver.com/hen-apron-saddle-styles-colors-prices.html

 

http://www.realcountrylife.com/images/web%202005%20chickens/Chicken%20apron.jpg

 

If you sew, you can make these custom for each chicken, depending on where they need and how much coverage.  Fwiw, ymmv.  :)

Homeschooling mama to 4, canning fanatic, yarnie, avid reader, and chicken addict! And somehow, we ended up with horses, too...........   

www.tikktok.wordpress.com



http://tikktok.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/fermented-feed-faq/
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Homeschooling mama to 4, canning fanatic, yarnie, avid reader, and chicken addict! And somehow, we ended up with horses, too...........   

www.tikktok.wordpress.com



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post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 

ok thanks. Maybe  I will give them 2 hours and i will see about the stuff you suggested. 23 of them obliterated football sized grass field. Now grass is back but they don't care much for it they just dig for bugs. I mean they are not being completely cannibals just pecking at each other one time too many. So does rolling in the dirt means they have lice? or something that may be actually eating their feathers? oh and we have 23 because original pack consisted of 25 i think. They predicted many of them to die because they were shipped to us from another galaxy but they didn't die. 1 died at young age, reasons unknown, 2nd one died 7 months later...reasons unknown...had to give away 2 roosters by law...and we ended up having like 21...but then i rescued 2 older hens because some dumb *** owner threw them out when they stopped laying eggs. But overall the pack is healthy. They are just confined.

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 

umm so I see their jackets that protect exact spots where my chickens are bold...so are these sold online or can i get them at stores?

post #18 of 22



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 27strong View Post

ok thanks. Maybe  I will give them 2 hours and i will see about the stuff you suggested. 23 of them obliterated football sized grass field. Now grass is back but they don't care much for it they just dig for bugs. I mean they are not being completely cannibals just pecking at each other one time too many. So does rolling in the dirt means they have lice? or something that may be actually eating their feathers? oh and we have 23 because original pack consisted of 25 i think. They predicted many of them to die because they were shipped to us from another galaxy but they didn't die. 1 died at young age, reasons unknown, 2nd one died 7 months later...reasons unknown...had to give away 2 roosters by law...and we ended up having like 21...but then i rescued 2 older hens because some dumb *** owner threw them out when they stopped laying eggs. But overall the pack is healthy. They are just confined.


Dust baths are normal chicken behavior, like scratching.  It's how they keep clean.  To give them something to do, you could get them a kitty litter pan and fill it with sand.  They will have a great time.  For that many, I'd suggest at least 2 pans.  ALL chickens do this; it has nothing to do with plucking.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/197242/why-do-chickens-take-dust-baths

 

http://www.betterhensandgardens.com/2010/04/28/chickens-dont-take-water-baths-they-take-dust-baths/- this one has good pics

 

Homeschooling mama to 4, canning fanatic, yarnie, avid reader, and chicken addict! And somehow, we ended up with horses, too...........   

www.tikktok.wordpress.com



http://tikktok.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/fermented-feed-faq/
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Homeschooling mama to 4, canning fanatic, yarnie, avid reader, and chicken addict! And somehow, we ended up with horses, too...........   

www.tikktok.wordpress.com



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post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by 27strong View Post

umm so I see their jackets that protect exact spots where my chickens are bold...so are these sold online or can i get them at stores?



 I have never seen them in a store, but I'm pretty rural with few options.  Those links have them for sale; mypetchicken.com I think has them for sale, too.  Or, you could make them yourself if you can sew.  Check your local chicken community if you want to buy locally- there may be someone who makes them or who has them available.

Homeschooling mama to 4, canning fanatic, yarnie, avid reader, and chicken addict! And somehow, we ended up with horses, too...........   

www.tikktok.wordpress.com



http://tikktok.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/fermented-feed-faq/
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Homeschooling mama to 4, canning fanatic, yarnie, avid reader, and chicken addict! And somehow, we ended up with horses, too...........   

www.tikktok.wordpress.com



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post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

ok so i rubbed that vicks medicine on them. How long does it last before I have to re-rub. By the way it was a pain in the ***. They do not like to be rubbed. This was worth than giving my dogs a bath. They are running everywhere, yelling.

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