Are some birds just pluckers???

ChickenMama18

Songster
10 Years
Aug 31, 2009
326
3
119
Nor Cal
We have a plucker who I've been acquiring about here. I seperated her for a week and a half so the others could re-establish a new pecking order. I made sure they all had plenty of protein. Went and bought some red worms and mealy worms, gave them egg yolks, and gave them cat food mash as a treat. So last weekend I let the plucker back in....and she's still plucking. It's not obsessive but I can see she's starting to pull the fluff out of the other birds and on the back of one. In a few weeks they will probably be bald like the one (one of them is completely bald in the rear). So sad. What do I do? Is she just a plucker?

At my wits end here.
 
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chickenjen

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 17, 2010
75
0
39
Highlands, NC
You might try corrective behavior techniques like with children since it seems to be an extreme plucking problem. I have a couple that can be a bit plucky and I just gently tap them on the beak and tell them no. It seems to be working and have settled them down. I try to be the "head chicken" in my coop and it seems to work. I go visit the ladies a couple times a day and am seeing less plucking going on since I started correcting as I see it. However, I still will see one grab a feather from another and then it is like a game with them of "I got your feather, see if you can get it back".

Maybe some sort of toys for them to pull their mind away from plucking each other so much?

Just remember though, plucking is a chicken thing. I have some that have no "tail" left from it, a couple who are bald, and then some that are fully feathered. Unless you are going for show, I would not be overly worried about it. It is just what they do in a flock.
 

ChickenMama18

Songster
10 Years
Aug 31, 2009
326
3
119
Nor Cal
Wow, really...she's just a plucker then?
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I guess you're right in that being bald doesn't really hurt the birds. I forgot to mention that I hung a cd in the coop to "entertain" the plucker and one bird freaked out and wouldn't pass it even if I opened the door to let them free range. Anyway, I moved it to the side and everyone is better...but havent' seen anyone peck it.

I have corrected the plucker several times. She'll submit while I'm there. I even did it outside the run and she did the egg squat when I told her "NO! Quit plucking my hens!" But...sigh I guess she's just a plucker. I just remembered that someone also suggested putting cabbage out there for them to eat. Maybe I can still try that?

I hear you on the game thing...ours do that too. They like to chase each other with the feather in their beaks then quickly swallow it. They are quite entertaining...but so sad for the one who was plucked!

Guess I was just hoping for beautiful birds.
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chickenjen

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 17, 2010
75
0
39
Highlands, NC
Did you see this thread? They were talking about bits to keep them from plucking each other. They were saying it basically keeps the beak from closing all the way to keep feathers from being plucked but if I read right, they can still eat and drink. I know nothing about it so it might help.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=305861

Guess I was just hoping for beautiful birds.

Yeah, I was quite
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when I saw the tail feathers start coming out due to pecking but... I just had to get over it. Nature is not perfect nor straight and not always totally pretty. Takes a bit but you get used to non-perfect tails. I have got to get a picture of one of my ladies. Her tail feathers don't stick out but rather curl over her rump. At first I thought something was wrong with her but... I have determined she just has a different "do".
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If she looks like it is becoming a problem to the point of serious injury, definitely separate her. If it is just one other being a cranky pant, separate that one, not the one being plucked. If you can avoid separating the victim and separate the suspect(s), I would go that route if it were me. Maybe just a good time out for the culprit(s) would work??? I am still figuring it all out too!​
 

chickenjen

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 17, 2010
75
0
39
Highlands, NC
I forgot to mention that I hung a cd in the coop to "entertain" the plucker and one bird freaked out and wouldn't pass it even if I opened the door to let them free range.

Now THAT is funny!!!
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ChickenMama18

Songster
10 Years
Aug 31, 2009
326
3
119
Nor Cal
YEAH...I'm desperate here!
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LOL! I don't know...works for parrots!
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I did seperate the plucker for a week and a half. Just brought her back into the flock last weekend but alas...she's still plucking. We already have one bird seperated cuz everyone picks on her to the point of making her bleed so I really don't want a flock of seperated birds you know!!
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Jen, I'm off now to check out the thread you posted...thanks so much!
 

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