Bully chickens plucking other hens feathers out

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Whovian, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Whovian

    Whovian Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2013
    Connecticut
    I have 2 Wyandottes and 3 Americaunas. The Wyandottes (both or just one) have plucked all the butt feathers of my Americaunas. They had been targeting just one chicken since last summer, but now all the chickens. One even has feathers missing from her neck. Any suggestions on how to get them to stop? I will be adding 2 Buff Orp's (same age as other chickens) and 3 Black Copper Marans (just 7 days old now) to the flock in a few weeks. I can rule out mites, worms, etc.
     
  2. Cellochick

    Cellochick Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 9, 2013
    My wyandottes did this to the rest of my flock and even to my roosters. I used Blu-Kote (From TSC) and sprayed it on the exposed skin. I don't know how it works but it made them stop attacking the hens. I've also used an anti-peck lotion that is also from TSC. This one has a strong smell and it really makes the bully hens stop pecking
     
  3. Whovian

    Whovian Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2013
    Connecticut
    We've tried the Blu-Kote, it doesn't seem to help. I have heard vicks vapor rub works as an anti-pecking lotion because of the smell/taste. I haven't tried it yet - it's a rather large area to cover with vicks.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feather picking usually starts because they are bored, have too little space, are getting too little protein, or a combination. It can be very difficult to stop when established for some time.

    If they were mine, the first thing I'd do is change their environment -- let them out of their pen to wander freely, if at all possible. People do things like add distractions such as new items in their environment, hanging food items such as a cabbage or a flock block, etc. Pinless peepers (do a general search here) work for many people. I'll give you some links I have on feather picking. Good luck!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/back-to-basic-living-feather-picking-plucking-and-cannibalism

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/697052/i-think-i-found-a-miracle-cure-for-feather-picking/0_20
     
  5. Whovian

    Whovian Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2013
    Connecticut
    They get to free range every day and we are good about giving them boredom busters. I am thinking that a rooster might be a good idea and help get them in line.
     
  6. julianna47

    julianna47 Just Hatched

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    May 23, 2016
    I tried some free ranging for this an within a day 2 were dead from a hawk attack
     

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