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Back picking

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Tiempo, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Tiempo

    Tiempo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 19, 2008
    Stockbridge, MI
    My two new hens came with bald spots on their backs.

    I introdued them to my flock this week and the bald spots got a little bigger.

    Today I saw my BAndie hen pecking on the back of one of the new girls, in the bald spot.

    None of my flock have done this to each other until now.

    Can I stop it? Can the backs of the new girls be protected?

    It's not really practical for me to keep them seperate on a long term basis.

    TIA.
     
  2. icthus

    icthus Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2008
    Not sure how to stop it but you have to do something or its going to get ugly. Mine started doing that, they eat the feathers off each others back. Soon they will be eating flesh. I still have one of mine isolated after 4 weeks because she was torn up so bad. The others healed up with treatment. There are various causes including overcrowding. Mine was caused by leaving a heat lamp on 24 hours a day. They need a certain amount of darkness each nite or they will start getting a little crazy.

    Yours may just be caused by the new ones already having the bald spot, thus inviting more picking. You might try getting some medicine that you can spray on and stain the skin so that it isnt so obvious to the other chickens. Just make sure it isnt red.
    Good Luck
     
  3. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    2 words - - - -

    Chicken Saddles
     
  4. Tiempo

    Tiempo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 19, 2008
    Stockbridge, MI
    Thanks enola, I searched around here a litte bit and I'm going to order a couple of saddles for them.

    I feel so bad for them [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  5. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    May 13, 2008
    I think I may be having the same problem, is this the term used
    ( back picking ) small bald spots at the base of the tail and creeping into the back. earlier this winter I had to seperate some younger BO's because the others had drawn blood, and would not stop.

    AL
     
  6. Tiempo

    Tiempo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 19, 2008
    Stockbridge, MI
    I don't know if it's the real term, just what came to mind [​IMG]
     
  7. Chic Chick

    Chic Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 30, 2008
    East Central Alberta
    There's salves you can put on to stop them from pecking more. You could also trim their beaks, or I just read about some kind of blinders for them [​IMG] I'm thinking a lot of us have that problem this winter because they're bored and don't want to spend time outside because it's too cold.
     
  8. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    May 13, 2008
    Will the feathers grow back ??.
     
  9. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    Quote:Yes, they'll grow back if the hen gets a break from the picking. You can spray them with blukoat to discourage the picking. If that doesn't work, separate them for 3-4 weeks.

    ETA: Also take a look at how much protein they're getting. They'll eat feathers when they lack protein.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  10. Chillicothechick

    Chillicothechick Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2009
    You are probably going to have to separate them for longer than 2-4 weeks. We have about 10 birds that have had this problem. We found that if we put them back in with the other chicks when they just had feather sprouts, they still got pecked and ended up bald again. At least with ours, we have had to separate them for about a month's time - but they sure do look nice when their feathers all come back in. We've tried the blue-coat (both spray and brush on) and it works well on dark birds for a while. Looks really silly on the Golden Buffs. You have to keep reapplying it every few days or so because it does wear off.

    And it will get ugly if you don't separate these birds. We had a bird die yesterday that got pecked to death sometime in the early morning. By the time I found her and separated her, it was too late. She was dead by last nite.
     

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