Butt-pecking hen...a real pain!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 77horses, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

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    [CONFIDENTIAL]
    OK, so we have a Red Star hen named Abby, along with 3 other Red Stars and a RIR rooster.
    We got Abby, along with her friend, Penny, from a friend. Both were in terrible condition; very bad leg mites, loss of a lot of feathers, etc. And they were very shy.

    Abby and Penny look much better now. Abby is still shy, but Penny is much more friendly.

    And now I've noticed a problem with Abby; she almost constantly pecks the other chicken's rear ends and tail feathers, every chance she gets! She even pecks at Marty, the roosters', butt! [​IMG] While he's eating, she will come up behind him and peck him. [​IMG] Poor guy. She does the same thing with the others.


    What do we do about this mean hen? [​IMG]
     
  2. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Feather picking/eating is usually a sign of protein or calcium deficiency, I forget which one....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2009
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    get them some protein.

    Cooked oats, salmon... with free choice calcium.

    And make certain they have room to roam. I have a light brown leghorn hen that won't leave one of my EE's hind ends alone. I may have to rehome her, but I hate to do that because she gives me at least 5 beautiful, glossy white eggs a week.
     
  4. chickygirl2

    chickygirl2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you gently trim the top beak flat across A LITTLE, she won't be able to do the damage she does now.Many hatcheries sell chickens with their top beaks cut [I am not suggesting drastically here !] to avoid that very problem. I rescued some red star pullets all with trimmed beaks and they did very well eating etc. They were not able to "pinch " though.
     
  5. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    I had a flock of production reds from Moyers a few years ago & even though they had clipped beaks (I got them as ready to lay), they were the worst feather pickers I have ever seen. The clipped beaks did nothing to stop them.
     
  6. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

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    [CONFIDENTIAL]
    Thanks everyone for the suggestions... [​IMG]




    But I think that we do give them enough protein because once and a while we feed them cooked eggs with the shell. They get layer mash and cracked corn every day. Sometimes we throw in a doughnut or two for them to peck at and eat, and once and a while we give them leftovers, such as spaghetti, etc...

    Any other thoughts/advice? [​IMG]
     
  7. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

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    Or it could just be her personality; I suspect she was not treated well at all before we had her, considering the condition she was in; almost completely bare back/wings, bald head, dirty feet with bad leg mites, etc. So maybe she was pecked on before, and now that she has a chance to be the bossy one, she's taking advantage of the freedom from the chickens who pecked on her...? That's my guess anyway. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. chickygirl2

    chickygirl2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She may have had to peck to keep the bugs off her in the past !
     
  9. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:What you THINK you give them, and what their nutrional levels actually are can be two VERY different things. The other birds may not let her eat as much etc...

    Trying some of the advice thats been posted before dismissing it may help your situation greatly?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2009
  10. Hobbley_Farm

    Hobbley_Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    is there any way you could seperate her for a few days or more? Maybe she'll stop if you can keep her up and away for a few days.
     

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