2 hens picking on 3rd....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by urbanhendad, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. urbanhendad

    urbanhendad New Egg

    Jan 3, 2009
    I have 3 Australorp hens that are just shy of 2 yrs old. One of the hens is getting picked on by the other 2...to the point where they are plucking her feathers out! Her breast is almost bald. Any ideas what I should do?
  2. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:are they in a cage ? IF so , turn them loose . IF they are in a coop/with attached run , separate them for awhile , just make sure they can see each other . BUT , picking at one another is very common , they will get it out of their system .

    Have they been raised together ?
  3. BJ

    BJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2007
    I have heard that pine tar works very well. Try searching pine tar and see some previous comments about it. Many times the chickens will pick from boredom. Do they have plenty of space to move around and fresh air?
  4. tim_TX

    tim_TX Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2008
    Yes, one taste of a pine tar and they'll be shaking their head and looking for something else to peck at. Only apply it to wounds or bare spots though. You don't want a ball of tar and feathers.
  5. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    Could be protien def. feed yogurt. Bordom hang a cabbage just hugh enough so they have to jump a bit to get it. This will entertain them.

    If you search picing and cannabilism you will find lots of info on this subject.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2009
  6. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    How much space do they have?

    What is your weather like?

    Are the girls all the same size?

    Has this just started happening?

    The suggestions made by others above are all good. The only thing I would add is to underline the importance of nipping cannibalism in the bud before it becomes a serious issue. Good luck, and please keep us posted!
  7. urbanhendad

    urbanhendad New Egg

    Jan 3, 2009
    Thanks for the all info--you folks are great! The girls have been raised together, are the same size, and get to roam our yard several times a day when I turn them loose from their coop. Their coop is pretty fair sized for just 3 hens: 5 1/2 feet x 11 feet. The weather here in the Pacific Northwest has been unusually cold so they have missed a few days of yard-roaming due to the snow. I will try the pine tar to see if it will help. If that doesn't do the trick I will try separating them.

    Thanks again!
  8. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    You can find pine tar in the HORSE section of your feed store or co-op. You may have to apply with a tongue depressor - very sticky!

    You could also try a product called Rooster Booster. It is a no-pick product, and will be in the chicken section.

    Also might try giving the girls stuff to do during the day - munching cabbage, pumpkins, carrots on string, etc. They are less likely to pick if they have something to do. Good luck!

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