Bad Behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sixstrings, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. sixstrings

    sixstrings Hatching

    Apr 7, 2013
    Belt, Montana
    I have a flock of 11 birds, 4 RI Reds, 4 Ameraucanas and 3 Barred Rocks. Everyone has been doing fine until recently when I noticed feathers missing from almost all of their backsides. At first I thought they had mites but soon became aware that all were missing a lot of feathers except one of the RI Reds and she has a perfect plume of feathers. As I watched their behavior I noticed that she is pecking everyone on the back and some have patches the size of an orange. No blood yet but I'm concerned if it keeps up that someone will start bleeding. I think I'm going to have to separate her from everyone else for a few days or say goodbye. Any thoughts out there regarding this behavior?
  2. Eggmachine11

    Eggmachine11 Chirping

    Feb 8, 2015
    I had a hen molt a month or two ago.She was pecked on because she was showing chest meat.If the hen keeps doig this,you should probably seperate her.
  3. Urban Flock

    Urban Flock Chirping

    Sep 17, 2014
    Southern Oregon
    I would separate her for a few days. Sometimes that will change the pecking order. It may take more than a few days but you can start with 2 and if that doesn't help you could try a week. It is best if they can be in an area where they can all still see her and visa versa. That way if it takes a week you won't need to go through the introduction thing. Hope this helps.
  4. WinterChicks

    WinterChicks Chirping

    Jan 7, 2015
    Shawnee, Ohio
    Agree with other posters.

    Let us know what you decide!
  5. roseyred

    roseyred Songster

    Jun 5, 2014
    I agre with the post above. Defenitly seperate Her and let them still see eachother. When she gets back she'll be in a lower ranking. Do you have a rooster? Sometimes when you don't a hen will take that roll and she may be trying to mount them and ripping out feathers. If she's eating the feathers its a deficiency. One of my Roos ate feathers lol
  6. sixstrings

    sixstrings Hatching

    Apr 7, 2013
    Belt, Montana
    Thanks for everyone's reply. Just kinda wanted to make sure I was on the right track.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I agree it might be a good idea to physically separate the feather picker.
    there may be more to the situation.

    The picker might be a 'bad' bird and need to find another place to be long term with full disclosure or the stew pot.
    A couple other things to look at first:

    How much coop and run space do they have(feet by feet)?
    It could be a crowding issue.

    Is the picker eating the feathers?
    What are you feeding?
    It could be a nutrition deficiency solved by providing more protein, specifically animal protein.

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