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Bully Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pinknblackchaos, May 1, 2017.

  1. pinknblackchaos

    pinknblackchaos New Egg

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    Sep 25, 2016
    Michigan
    Through the winter my hens were starting to get bald spots on their butts. I thought at first that they were just molting, but from what I have read about molting they start at the head and goes down the body, and this does not fit with that. However, until recently i had dismissed it as molting. I have noticed that one of my hens is perfectly fully feathered, only one. I just introduced new 10 week old pullets to my flock and witnessed the fully feathered chicken bullying my pullets and then came out later and one pullet was very badly injured and bleeding on her butt above her tail feathers. I am wondering if she could be responsible for all of the missing feathers on my hens and if i should cull her from my flock? Please help!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    It does sound like feather picking. There's always a reason why though, most often it is insufficient space or not enough protein in the diet. A bit more information about your set up and what you are feeding them can hopefully help determine why you are experiencing it.

    You certainly can cull the offending hen, and hope she was the sole culprit.
     
  3. pinknblackchaos

    pinknblackchaos New Egg

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    Sep 25, 2016
    Michigan
    I have a 4x8 coop with 8 hens. They have an outdoor run space of 8x12 and i have a chicken tractor I put them in almost daily (except for when it rains). They are recieving a standard layer feed which i believe is 16 percent protien and i give them black oil sunflower seeds as a snack most days.
     
  4. pinknblackchaos

    pinknblackchaos New Egg

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    Sep 25, 2016
    Michigan
    [​IMG]
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I would switch to a higher protein ration, something with 18-22%, like a non medicated grower, all flock, or game bird. I would cut out most of the sunflower seeds for now and switch to higher protein treats like cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, canned foolish and meal worms. I would assume your hens are getting protein deficit. When they do they seek out protein sources that are available to them which is eggs, feathers and each other.

    Put out a separate bowl of oyster shells for the extra calcium needs. It could take a few weeks but you should see an improvement.

    Sometimes feather picking becomes a bad habit. If your doesn't stop it after a few weeks I would cull. I no longer feed a layer ration as it has always left my hens deficit.

    @aart will let you know if you have adequate space, that's more her department.[​IMG]
     
  6. pinknblackchaos

    pinknblackchaos New Egg

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    Sep 25, 2016
    Michigan
    Thank you so much for the reply. I actually have them on a grower ration right now because of the pullets i am trying to integrate. It has only been for a couple weeks though.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Keep them on it long term. I had egg eating and feather picking on layer ration, especially higher production hens like sex links don't do well on it. Sunflower seeds are very fatty. Chickens love them, but they should be limited because too much internal fat can cause problems too.
     

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