Bored hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by skcroteau, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. skcroteau

    skcroteau Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2012
    Jewett City, CT.
    So I am really concerned about our flock. Last spring we bought six golden comets which were 12 weeks old. We have a 120 sq/ft run and a 12 sq/ft hen house for them to live in, we live in town and so can not free range and thus they are always enclosed. Late last year they started pulling each others feathers, at first just a few at a time and now they are brutal. We were told it was boredom and so provided toys, perches etc. all to no avail. Now our chickens have no feathers on their butts and some are missing feathers half way up their backs. Can we do anything about this or is this now a learned behavior and do we need to start over? The egg shell quality has really dropped off as well no matter what supplements we use, please advise.
     
  2. RodNTN

    RodNTN Following Jesus

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    Sounds bad.
     
  3. RodNTN

    RodNTN Following Jesus

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    Maybe you could give them treats and hang things. Like cabbage and stuff. Put things in their run that will distract them like stumps, straw, hay, etc. What kind of feed do you use? Are they eating their eggs?
     
  4. skcroteau

    skcroteau Out Of The Brooder

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    We use layer feed and supplement with spinach and oyster shells, they don't eat the eggs, unless there is a rubber one. We have saw horses, hanging toys etc, when one is taking a dust bath two others will just start pulling feathers from her while she sqwacks.
     
  5. RodNTN

    RodNTN Following Jesus

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    What brand of feed?
     
  6. RodNTN

    RodNTN Following Jesus

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    Maybe they need more room?
     
  7. skcroteau

    skcroteau Out Of The Brooder

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    Blue Seal
     
  8. skcroteau

    skcroteau Out Of The Brooder

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    Which means reduce the flock, everything I have read says we have enough room but I can not help wondering about that.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Sex links often become deficient in protein when on layer due to how often they lay. You should probably increase their protein by switching to something with higher protein, either a non medicated grower, all flock or game bird, always provide oyster shells free choice. You can give them things like cottage cheese, eggs, and canned fish to get them going in the right direction. The only feather pickers I've had were sex links. And of course enlarging the run could never hurt their mental well being.
     
  10. skcroteau

    skcroteau Out Of The Brooder

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    Best plan I've seen so far other than a chicken cone and a new flock, will give your suggestions a whirl.
     

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