Butt picking?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lillypurrs23, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. lillypurrs23

    lillypurrs23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2010
    We are having an issue with butt picking in our coop. We have 4 hens (2 years) who are at the top of the pecking order, then 9 pullets who will be 1 year old in April. One of the pullets, a black australorp, 5th in the pecking order, recently started this horrible habit of butt picking. I've heard that the lower ranking chickens are usually the ones who get their butts picked, but it isn't the case here. She mostly pecks the older 4's butt feathers. This started when they were all molting. Now the other black australorp who is at the bottom of the order does it, along with a red sex link, who is second to last. The 4 speckled sussexes have caught on by now, and will usually go after them if they come close, but when their backs are turned it still happens. We actually now have a bare butt cuckoo maran, and a buff orpington with a sore on her butt. (She is now separated) We had a broody hen who just finished with her chicks, and she was up on a perch, and the australorp was actually following her around from the ground looking up at her butt feathers. Right now all 3 are in a cage because we don't want to cull them, but don't know what to do! They are our pets, so we really don't want to do that. Anyone have ideas on what to do to stop this?
     
  2. pheasant101

    pheasant101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2011
    I am having the same problem. It started with one hen then two and now i think i have more but you are right. it is not the highest in the pecking order but the middle ones. I was thinking of moving the heat lamp in the coop because they seem to be doing the most damage at night. They don't seem to do it so bad during the day. Where I have the lamp now it kinda lights the whole coop except one corner and thats where the docile ones sit and they are getting picked on. I'm just going to move the lamp to the floor and direct it to their water so it dont freeze. I figure heat rises right so its not like they wont stay warm. Good luck and post back if you hear of anyother ideas.
     

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