Barebacked chicken and Winter

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chickenlover425, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. Chickenlover425

    Chickenlover425 New Egg

    Oct 10, 2016
    Central New York
    In July I introduced three Eastereggers to our flock, plus an older hen no longer laying to give her a home. The three Eastereggers had been ravaged by a rooster and were in really bad shape. I successfully managed to help the regrowth of feathers on two of them by adding extra protein to their diet, using neosporin, and Bluekote. The third one, however, hasn't grown her feathers back (pin feahers do appear on her back but don't seem to grow. Her "shoulders" are still red raw. I have been trying Peck no More, but to no avail. I am concerned about winter temperatures if I can't get her 'feathered'again before the colder temps really set in. A saddle doesn't cover her "shoulders".

    The hen which came with them was accepted very quickly, but it's my gentle Eastereggers which are always picked on, particularly by this one. I'm seriously considering eliminating her, because she can be really nasty. My Speckled Sussex does her share of pecking too. She is the head honcho, by the way.

    I lost my three beautiful Wyandottes to respiratory disease, (they were medicated, nursed and loved by the way, but I wasn't able to save them) and one to a racoon, so now am down to two of the original flock, which consists of an Ameracauna and Speckled Sussex. Point here being that my 5X4 coop was fine in winter when everyone got along. Now I'm worried that it won't be big enough. They have an approx 8x8 covered veranda and a 20' run. They also free range in good weather.

    Advice greatly appreciated.
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings, ChickenLover425, and :welcome. Great to have you with us. Sounds like you have some challenges on your hands. Yes, once chickens start picking it can be hard to break them of it. In the following link there are some informative articles on bullying chickens and pecking order that may shed light on your predicament
    Is there a way to isolate the picked on one to give those feathers a chance to take hold? Like maybe for two weeks? Separate enclosure perhaps? A lot of extra work but would hate to see you have to eliminate her when it's the others doing the picking. I'm sure others will chime in with thoughts and suggestions. In the meantime here is the link where you can scroll and find the New York thread if you'd like to :)chat with local chicken keepers!
    Best wishes! :)
  3. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    Some have had luck with the pinless peepers on the ones that are doing the pecking. Redsoxs has also given you some very good tips and links.

    Good luck to you and thanks for joining us!
  4. Chickenlover425

    Chickenlover425 New Egg

    Oct 10, 2016
    Central New York
    Thanks. I'll follow up on your info. I have been trying to figure out how to separate her and still keep her dry when it rains.

    It's the extra one that came along for the ride,not my Easteregger, that I'm thinking of eliminating from the flock.
  5. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Welcome to BYC! It's great to have you.

    Hens are easy to sell and there are tons of good tempered hens out there. Ditch her. No reason to keep a troublemaker.

    Definitely sounds like a feather picking issue. If applying anti-picking solutions fail to work after removing the aggressive hen, you might actually consdier one of Pampered Poultry's saddles - they sell options with shoulders.

    I wouldn't really worry about her being cold, but it's definitely not a habit you want to remain in the flock.
  6. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

    Apr 24, 2016
    Hello, and welcome to Backyard chickens! You have gotten great advice and links, so I will just say HI! :frow and good luck with your pecking order spats!
  7. Up the protein in their diet...I feed Grower crumble and Layer pellets 50/50 ratio...Birds that peck lack protein. Protein is needed for feather growth...Provide oyster shell and granite grit. cut out all treats for a few weeks..Treats should only be 5% of daily ration..Meaning a tablespoon per bird daily......

    Best of luck....

  8. Chickenlover425

    Chickenlover425 New Egg

    Oct 10, 2016
    Central New York
    Thank you. Mixing the two seems like a good all year regime. I have added a 20% protein feed to their diet but maybe not enough. I like your idea.
  9. Thanks...I know it works..My Hens are great and a Lady I know who raises Birds for years got me on this feeding Schedule and I will never change it.....Healthy Hens and great layers is all we want...

    Best of luck...

  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    So, you have an old, non-productive hen who is pecking other birds? And your'e not especially attached to her, you took her because no one else wanted her?

    Get rid of her. Put an ad on CL or Facebook or whereever, ask $5 for her and be done with it.

    If your Sussex is picking also you might need to pull her out for a few weeks, give the feathers a chance to grow back, and put her in again.

    don't worry so much about the cold. I have had birds molting horribly when it's below freezing and they did just fine.
    1 person likes this.

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