any cure for a feather plucker?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by carousel, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. carousel

    carousel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2008
    NW Oregon
    I have an almost 5 month old GLW pullet - I took her from a friend because this pullet was plucking feathers off of other chickens from her "similar age growing up folk, about 6 pullets total" and really making bare, the bottom girl on the bunch.

    I have had her for about a month and to be honest I thought things were going great.
    I have 8 other hens/pullets in an area 7x27' they have lots to do, lots of feeders, flock block, and other off and on treats, they and even get to go out on on the chicken patio (un covered yard attached to the secure run) when I'm home. In the start they all bossed her around and would not let her pluck feathers.

    the hens/pullets are have 3 feeders 1 with layer pellets, 2 smaller once with flock raiser, both from Purina.

    but it has happened, I noticed that my one of my same age pullets is starting to get a thin area over her tail/back. and then I saw it the GLW plucking at her, but not her she will take a cheap grab at all my chickens! she pulls the feathers and eats them.

    I talked to my friend last night about what to do with her, she is beautiful for a hatchery chick
    and it turns out the other GLW that my friend has (we had 2 of them in our batch of chicks) are also doing this.

    my HUNCH is the following

    These girls were raised with meat birds and that they learned to pluck the slow moving meates - there were 45 meat birds and 4 layers (2 GLW a 2 other same age chicks)????

    we have raised layers with meat birds before and NOT had this problem. Are some breeds/lines just more prone to do this?

    is there any curing her?

    right now I have put her in a run with 2 - 1 yr old hens and they are not letting her pluck them! they also don't like her and life is not good for her right now, but I don't want my other chickens plucked up by her.

    I have a friend in a rual part of town that lets hers free range, she keeps about 15-20 hens and a rooster.
    she has lost 6 chickens to hawks this summer but I figure a short "good" life might be better, I hate to give this problem to someone else? but maybe the 2 feather puckers/eaters will do better free range. When these 2 girls are together they will pluck each other.

    we are hoping that once the hawks are all fledged they will move on and be less apt to chicken dinners. My friend has also changed some of how they are keeping chickens to cut back on their losses. Since they have made those changes no more losses.

    thoughts?
    thanks
     
  2. carousel

    carousel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2008
    NW Oregon
    well will be curious if anyone has any ideas, in case I run into this in the future.
    however, I think I have decided that the layers (Brown leghorn, EE and Buckeyes) I'm getting with my meat birds in Sept, I will raise them in the same area, but with a divider from my 12 meat birds.
    we did find a situation with a gal that is willing to take them who free ranges her chickens (different than the first person I listed, they are going today!)
    this GLW was such eye candy! I will sure miss her. But not the terror she was causing!
    thank you,
     
  3. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Only one sure way to cure the problem, chicken on the menu.
     
  4. carousel

    carousel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2008
    NW Oregon
    that much! I could figure out [​IMG]
    thanks
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I only have one suggestion and it may not help. If it's one hen in particular that she's picking on smear some pine tar on the parts of the hen that she's picking. I guarantee the GLW won't like the taste and she may think twice about picking again.
     
  6. carousel

    carousel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2008
    NW Oregon
    thanks,
    she picked on all of them, one more than others but she would grab a feather of any of my chickens even the 14 month olds that would quickly put her back in her place.
    I think the poor vision (because of her cheek feathers) of my Russian Orloff make her more of a target.

    Both are now in a large flock that free ranges.
    it maybe that she and her "sister" (the other GLW) will have enough to do and other older chickens will not put up with their nonsense that things will be better.
    they were really SO very pretty, such eye candy! but I didn't want to pass this problem onto someone else (I"m sure this often happens!). The gal that is took them has dealt with feather puckers and problem chickens before. That and these girls will not have Rooster around!
    thanks again,
     

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