Brand names for "anti-peck ointment"

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WalkingOnSunshine, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    Hey folks,

    Since we've had so much snow this year, the hens have been spending a lot of time indoors. They refuse to go out. They've been pecking each others' butt feathers and tail feathers off and finally made a wound on one of my BLR Wyandottes.

    When I go online, many sites say:
    1. Increased protein. --Bought some cat food
    2. Decreased light. --Can't do much about this
    3. Decreased temperature. --Can't fix this, either. It's barely above freezing in there.
    4. Increased space. --We already have a10' x 16' building
    5. Anti-peck ointment. --This is the issue. All the articles mention this stuff, but no one gives brand names. Don't want to use Blu-Kote b/c it's not labeled for food animals so there's no withholding times.

    Anyone know any good anti-peck ointments that have worked for you? We're also getting some flock blocks today.

    Thanks very much. This is really worrying me.

  2. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    Pine tar is one, I use blucote and still eat the eggs with no problems but it doesn't always stop the picking.
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    I've heard of pine tar before, but does anyone know if it changes egg flavor? We sell eggs so we can't afford to mess with the flavor or use something like blu-kote that's not labeled for food animals.
  4. Sometimes called Blue Lotion too, sold for horses, fine on chickens. You've separated the Wyandotte, right?

    Have you considered a solar light in there?

    Any way of improving run so birds will go out? Very important for mental health and for egg-laying. I had to confine mine during the Siberian Express, but other days I can get them out if only for a while. Do you have sufficient floor space? This plucking could end badly...
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    I'm not sure what a solar light is. Can you help?

    Also, they don't have a run. Just a ladder down to 8 acres. They won't come out if there is ANY snow on the ground.

    The floor is 10' x 16' for 23 hens.
  6. Spread bedding on the ground and feed them their feed on the bedding. Push them out of the chicken house if you need to. Pecking can become a fun past time for bored chickens, then it becomes a habit. So, give them something to do besides stand in the coop and think bad things about the weather.
  7. luvmygirlsinAK

    luvmygirlsinAK Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    North Pole, Ak
    Pine tar says right on the can not to use on animals that are to be eaten. (I would assume that you wouldn't want to eat the eggs either, if this were the case) I found an anti-pick lotion that is called Rooster Booster anti-pick lotion. I bought it for a new chicken that was given to us because all of the other chickens in her coop pecked her almost to death. The previous owner said she was in much better condition when she brought her to me, as she had separated her from the others. It was so sad-because she still looked really bad! (Even in her "New, Improved Condition") [​IMG] Chickens can be really mean. We had to remove the roosters from the coop, the were nuts about her, which led to increased activity with the others. Egg production went down, but went way up when we removed the roosters. They stress the girls more than I thought.

    Before we had the roosters, we were getting an egg a day from them, and sometimes 2 a day from two of my older hens, and then we got the roosters, and egg production went down. Upon reading on BYC about this very thing, (although the bigger rooster was very gentle, and the other in his hormonal teens) and accompanied by the issue of the pecked on hen, we decided to remove them. It's amazing how many more eggs we get now!!
  8. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    When I've had injured birds, I put plain ol' Bag Balm (the stuff for milk cows, in the square green tin) on the wounds, not only did none of the others peck them, it kept them from rubbing it off themselves, as well. They don't like the taste, and it sticks to the beak.

    I've read several folks used Vicks or whatever store brand equivalent to stop picking. Less expensive than Bag Balm, but BB stays on better, it's much thicker and stickier. And it won't sting wounds, either. BB is great for helping any picked spots to heal, and it's antiseptic.

    You can still eat the eggs, too, it won't hurt anything.

    With either of those, dirt will stick to the ointment and can quickly become unsightly, but it wears off. Meanwhile picked on birds can get a break from being picked on, heal, and feathers grow back. By then, sometimes the behavior will be forgotten, they may get out of the habit.

    Birds tend to pick at red things, but under a red light, will sometimes stop, because everything looks red.

    You didn't say how many birds you have in that 10' X 16' space, and how much of it is taken up by roosts and nest boxes. You might want to consider a tunnel or group nest, sort of like this one: [​IMG]
    The top flap is up on the one in the photo, so you can see how you'd get to the eggs, but normally that would be closed, and the hens would go in and out through that little square door on the face. They'd have a calm, dark place to lay eggs, and it's roomy, so they wouldn't squabble so much over space, like they do with regular individual nest boxes.
    1 person likes this.
  9. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    I actually have some bag balm. I'll give that a try.

    We have 10 nest boxes for 23 birds. They are in the dark part of the coop. Our coop is built like like a house, with full-height ceilings. There are 6 windows on one half and no windows on the other side where the nest boxes are. The perches are A-frame ladder-like things hinged at the top with chains at the sides so they can be folded up and take up almost no floor space.

    At least the snow's gone, even though it's still cold. They've been outside for the past three days. And this spring, once we get their pasture fence finished (some protection from neighborhood dogs) they will have even more freedom to run all the time. Right now they have 8 acres, but only when we're home. Hopefully we can get them through this bad patch and then have a more ideal situation in the spring.
  10. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Iam having the same problem right now, they have pecked the tail feathers off some slightly younger pullets, I too checked here for a reason. All of these pullets had some blood showing, it surprised me how fast the bigger hens can relentlessly keep after them, anyway I used a general purpose wound dressing, it is thick, yellow, and safe for meat animals. it is simply called ( wound dressing ) and I bought it at Attwoods in the feed section.

    Now the young birds are seperated and healing and acting fine, except they look weird, I cured the bordem problem ( cause of pecking ) in the large pen by adding a deep layer of a full sml sq bale of wheat straw hay that was loaded with seed, and layed out in the run and coop, I spread scratch on the top, threw in some seed corn still on the cob, and some sunflower seed heads hung upside down from the run roof. they seem to busy now the entire day, All in all I think I attacked this on all fronts and it does seem to be working great now for about 2 weeks.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: