Butt Pecking

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KayC2016, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. KayC2016

    KayC2016 Out Of The Brooder

    41
    2
    21
    Jul 16, 2016
    Remlap, Alabama
    Need Suggestions Please!! I have two new Orpingtons that I introduced about 10 days ago. Everything is going pretty well, however, they have yet to get their tail feathers and there is a lot of butt pecking going on. I have applied antibiotic ointment and sprayed with bluekote to cover their bottoms with purple...but they are still pecking their little bare butts. I really have no way of separating other than a medium sized dog cage till they get their tail feathers in. Any suggestions on what else I might be able to do to help them?
    [​IMG]

    Thank you!
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,828
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    1 person likes this.
  3. KayC2016

    KayC2016 Out Of The Brooder

    41
    2
    21
    Jul 16, 2016
    Remlap, Alabama
    Thank you so much!
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    27,359
    11,013
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    How did you integrate them? What is your run and coop size? What are the age differences between your newbies and the established flock?

    It's quite normal for dominance to be established (and reinforced) by pecking to the back of the head, butt pecking is not. Feather pecking is a response to environmental stressors, and I'd suggest looking at trying to fix the causes, whilst treating the symptoms.

    I would be inclined to think that the causes of the butt pecking relate to them not being able to perform their "natural" behaviours and if you have not observed this behaviour before, it could well relate to space either directly, or indirectly. The suggested minimum coop space is 10sqft per bird.
     
  5. KayC2016

    KayC2016 Out Of The Brooder

    41
    2
    21
    Jul 16, 2016
    Remlap, Alabama
    I have a 25 x 25 run that is covered with avian netting. The same setup as where I purchased them. The coop is 5 x 12. I have 11 hens. I live in a remote area on 12 acres and it is very quiet with no outside stressors. I placed the newbies in a dog cage within the coop for several days. They new ones are approximately 4 weeks younger. They seemed to be more stressed in the cage than when they were in the run. They have done well with each other except for a few want to peck on the bare bottom of my Blue Orpington. The Jubilee that I integrated at the same time is doing well with minimal pecking. They are not attacking but it's like the bare skin just catches their attention and they do a quick peck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    27,359
    11,013
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    It seems like you have a great set-up. Do you let your flock out to free range? Loos like you have wood shavings on the run floor. If they do not free range then foraging behaviour in the run would not yield the result of food and would be a stressor. Not having dust bathing provisions, ditto.

    It could well be something that will pass , with time. It seems that we all have different experiences, regardless of what scientific research claims. It does no harm to look into innate behaviours and ensure, as far as possible, that we try to provide the most ideal environment for our flock.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. KayC2016

    KayC2016 Out Of The Brooder

    41
    2
    21
    Jul 16, 2016
    Remlap, Alabama
    Thank you....I do have pine shavings in the coop, but the run is dirt...used to have grass, but they trampled that. Unfortunately, due to the predators in our area, I am unable to allow them to free range. I usually throw out some BOSS occasionally as well as some of their layer pellets.

    Thank you so much for your advice! I am new to this and am trying to learn as much as I can and people, such as yourself, are always so willing to share their knowledge.
     
  8. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    27,359
    11,013
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    You are most welcome- I sincerely hope that all works put well - i am sure it will.
     
  9. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,656
    268
    208
    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    It sounds like they could be bored... You can suspend cabbage from the coop ceiling and poke holes in a water bottle filled with scratch for a little chicken soccer. :) Garden scraps also work well to give them something to scratch through and nibble on.

    If you see anyone EATING the feathers, it's possible there's a protein deficiency... though most commercially available layer rations don't have this issue.

    I'd also check them for lice and mites... Sometimes, chickens will pull their own feathers out in frustration, which leads to pecking when their little skins become exposed. You can treat that with poultry dust.

    Hope that helps!

    MrsB
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. KayC2016

    KayC2016 Out Of The Brooder

    41
    2
    21
    Jul 16, 2016
    Remlap, Alabama
    You are awesome! Thank you so much!!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by