Can the Polish community please help me out?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by coop-er, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a White Crested Polish rooster who is being feather-picked. I have a flock of 15 and I am not sure who is doing the picking as I have never witnessed it. However the evidence is there, and today when I opened the coop he was hiding in one of the nesting boxes. What can I do to fix this problem? Is there something I can put on his head to discourage this or should he be isolated from the rest of the flock? Any help you can offer would be appreciated. He is my only Polish and I don't have a lot of experience with this particular breed. Thank you.
     
  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry to hear you are having problems. Polish don't do well in a mix flocked as they are generally at the bottom of the pecking order. Because they have fancy crests they seem to be a magnet for other flock members to start pecking away at them.
    There are anti feather pecking products that you can apply to the crest regularly to try and stop this behaviour from other flock members. If you feel the picking is becoming bad I would personally separate him. In the mean time if you try the anti pick stuff on him and add extra feed and water stations so they can't bully him out.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Why is he hiding? Is he new to the flock? How old is he?
    Are there other roosters?
    How much space do you have?

    I'm wondering of this is an integration/management problem rather than a breed problem.

    If you are sure that it is just a breed problem, I'd ask on a Polish thread...probably find one, or many, in the breeds forum.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    X 2 - though birds with head dresses are often the target of feather picking as mentioned by Yorkshire Coop. Not only do the feathery heads attract attention, but they can also cause the bird with the feathering to have impaired vision which leaves them doubly vulnerable to the picking as they don't see the other birds coming in time to get out of range.
     
  5. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mare and Aart...he is part of a flock of 15, they are all 11 mos old and have been raised together from day one, brooder to coop. The coop and run are new (June build) coop is 120 sq feet, the run is 144 sq feet. 1/2 of the day in the run and 1/2 of the day free range. There are 2 more roosters, however I have never observed any fighting, a harmless bit of scrapping from time to time, but not the rooster fighting that I have seen in other flocks. All 3 roosters are Bantams and he is the meanest. He has the kind of head dress that "flows back" so his eyes are unobstructed. He is not injured, just bald on top. I am looking for a solution, because they will be spending more time together as the weather gets colder and they are inside more. He can be separated from the group if needed. Thank you for your help.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Is there a chance that he may be molting? You say you haven't seen any pecking.

    I have a Welsummer cockerel that has a bald spot since he was about 4-5 months old, it's not from pecking just an genetic anomaly.

    What are you feeding?
    Feathers are like 90% protein....adding animal protein to your feeding regime may help.

    3 cockerels with 12 hens could be a problem with more confinement, the pecking order is always shifting. Not sure how much time you have to observe, but it could be from the other cockerels 'fighting'.
     
  7. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had not considered molting. Can they molt in one spot only? They eat Dumor feed, cracked corn, scratch and a lot of leftovers from the kitchen and garden (fruit and veg only)
     
  8. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know my rooster-to-hen ratio is high, two of the three are accidentals. I do watch them closely (I spend some time daily out there) I have not seen anything to lead me to believe they are having turf wars.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Molting can show more in some places than others. Are there any pin feather showing on the bald spot? Can you post a pic?

    Not sure what Dumor feed you are using and what it's protein content is...but all that other stuff is diluting what ever protein is in the feed and maybe in the scratch.

    I like to feed an 'all flock' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat and have calcium available at all times for the layers, oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.
    The higher protein crumble offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer...and I regularly give some animal protein, meal worms or meat scraps especially when someone is molting.
     
  10. coop-er

    coop-er Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can try to get a pic, he is a tricky bird to deal with. Their feed is a pellet, layer feed with 16% protein. I do not add calcium because their shells are very hard as it is. Won't they be getting protein while free- ranging daily? Should I buy a feed with a higher protein content? What else can I give them to boost their protein intake? I really don't want to give them meat if I can help it.
     

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