butt feather plucker - what to do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ColoradoChicks, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. ColoradoChicks

    ColoradoChicks Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 25, 2011
    I've got an assorted variety of beautiful ladies - ten in all.

    This one, Maude, just became an aggressive butt feather plucker. She eats every single feather she plucks. Now two of the ladies have bare butts.

    We've had snow on the ground and very cold nighttime temperatures for about ten days now, and this is a first for the girls. Heat lamps at night and warm oatmeal for breakfast to help with that. They get organic layer feed (i just changed brands.) They still free-range for 3-4 hours during the day on whatever ground they can find with no snow (acre of land.)

    So from what I've read on these wonderful forums, I can/should supplement their feed with protein like scrambled eggs w/shells, put some stuff on the bare butts, hang food to fight boredom.

    Question is, what should I do first? And since I know exactly who it is, should I remove her from the flock (have no idea how to do that)? Maybe not let her free-range with the others?

    Thanks for any suggestions! And BTW, I feel VERY lucky to be getting 4-6 eggs a day!
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I doubt she's plucking them when they're free ranging - that's generally something that happens while contained. Are you SURE she's plucking them?? Them molting couldn't be a possiblity?? (you've seen her doing the deed?) If you KNOW she's doing it, then containing her when they're cooped would be a better option, rather than when free ranging, if it comes to that.
    Yes, and high protein foods are good: Game bird feed, egg, salmon, scrap meats, etc. are good. But some birds just develop that bad habit, and no amount of protein solves it. Hopefully it'll work for you though... [​IMG]
  3. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    Maude needs a pair of pinless peepers. Look it up. Use it not just for the girls she plucks but for her too. Those feathers she eating may cause impacted crop.
  4. ColoradoChicks

    ColoradoChicks Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 25, 2011
    Thanks for the responses!

    Yes, it is Maude, i watch her do it, she's the only one who does it, it is VERY specific. I have seen her do it when they are free-ranging, but only right after I let them out.

    Looking into the pinless peepers. Sounds kinky, but I'm looking forward to seeing them!

    I can coop her separate from the others, but that requires a whole new set up that makes my head hurt. Will do it if necessary.

    What about the stuff that goes on the offended's butt? Does that work?

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