Agressive Chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nahcooper2749, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. nahcooper2749

    nahcooper2749 New Egg

    Jul 15, 2010
    My chickens are being very aggressive to one another. They pull out each others feathers and then act like they are eating the feathers. They
    get grain scratch in the morning and regular chicken feed available all the time. I make sure they have clean water every day. I have 20 chickens
    and they have a 10' x 12' house with a run about the same size plus they get out every evening for about an hour to eat bugs etc. Anyone have
    a clue why they are being aggressive?
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I'd give them a couple of cans of salmon or tuna each week to add protien to their diet.

    That, or think your flock down.
  3. Bedste

    Bedste Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2009
    Cut n Shoot Texas
    Some of my chickens have attitudes and others are nice. The only time everyone acts crazy is when they are starving or thirsty or crowded so maybe you just have a couple with chips on their shoulders..... IDK
  4. Bedste

    Bedste Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2009
    Cut n Shoot Texas
    does the fish calm them? Does she have too many in that space? I will have to try some tuna.... sounds like a treat. They like canned cat food occasionally too.
  5. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA

    Feather picking is usually crowding and/or boredom, but feather eating is often from a lack of protien. The rule of thumb is 4 sq' of inside space per bird and 10 sq' of outside space per bird. Your set up is giving each bird about 6 sq' inside and out which is a bit tight. Your coop space is really good, but if you could extend your run by another 10' or so I think it would help a lot.

    Also, I'm not sure how much scratch you're feeding them or what kind of regular feed they're getting. If the scratch is more then 10% of their daily feed intake and/or their regular feed is below 16-17% protien that could also be contributing to your problems. If you can I'd put them on a higher protien feed (like gamebird 22%) for awhile and mix the scratch with BOSS (black oil sunflower seed) for their treats. You can also hang a cabbage in the coop and/or run for them to play with and eat. They'll likely be a bit unsure about the cabbage at first, but will enjoy it after a day or three. If you are able to get the gamebird feed be sure to put some oyster shell out free choice (it's cheap) so that they can get the calcium they need.

    Some blu-kote to put on any areas that have been plucked raw is also a good idea. They're not as likely to keep pecking at blue skin as they are red and it will promote healing. I believe there are other things you can get at the feed store that are supposed to discourage pecking, but I haven't used them so can't reccomend anything specific.

    Best of luck, I hope this helps.

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