Cannibalism, Chickens pecking, Please Help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JacobMaxwell, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. JacobMaxwell

    JacobMaxwell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm having a serious pecking problem. They are leghorns, and they have 4 square feet per bird in the coop. They have been free ranging every day except the days when there's a blizzard. I have several chickens injured from pecking, the most severe I separated and put in my only dog crate. The others have large peck wounds on their feet, and I don't have anywhere to separate them to. I've bandaged the feet but the chickens are still pecking at it. Could it be boredom because they don't have much to do outside this time of year? I never thought this would happen with free range chickens. I need a solution. Please help. Any ideas would be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  2. Fancypants1

    Fancypants1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you know who is pecking them? You need to remove the bully from the flock. Keep her/him away from the rest for a few weeks (should be far enough away that they can not see or hear her/him). Once you add her back into the flock the pecking order should change and she will be the low one on the totem pole. This worked for my Egyptian Fayoumi for a few months but she stared pecking again so I re-homed her to a farm where she had more space. Her breed does not do well confined, she was a hatchery pick so I had no choice.

    I know these are expensive but I have used it so much it's paid for it's self (I have a new chicken in it right now in our garage in quarantine) Just make sure you get some plastic mesh for over the top. I used zip ties to hold it down but left a little open so I can get in and out.

    http://www.diapers.com/p/summer-inf...ium=cpc_D&utm_campaign=GooglePLA&utm_content={adtype}&ca_sku=PJ-310&ca_gpa={adtype}&ca_kw={keyword}&CAWELAID=1338715281&kpid=PJ-310

    Wash the wounds out with warm soapy water and get a good coating of Neosporin on all the cuts.

    My polish girls head from pecking

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    "Chicken jail"

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    Good luck - I know the pain and helpless feeling you are going thru.
     
  3. JacobMaxwell

    JacobMaxwell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your advice Fancypants. I sure do feel helpless. The problem is, there isn't one particular bully. All of the chickens are engaging in the pecking behavior. Maybe they've developed a taste for blood. I've heard of people adding salt to the water to reduce pecking, does anybody know about that? I really at my wits end with these chickens.
     
  4. Fancypants1

    Fancypants1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Never heard about salt in the water. Some one told me this but it was too late I had already re-homed my EF so I never tried it.

    "I found eggs, deer meat, or beef (ground raw) works for pecking in the winter."

    I wouldn't even know where to get deer meat so I would have gone for the ground beef and scrambled eggs LOL

    Sounds like they are bored and yes, they will all start after they get the taste of blood. Just try keep the wounds covered so they don't see the color red - that is what will throw them into a tizzy.

    Anyone else have ideas???
     
  5. JacobMaxwell

    JacobMaxwell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks again for the advice. I will try the eggs and meat. Anyone else have ideas?
     
  6. JacobMaxwell

    JacobMaxwell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perhaps leghorns are predisposed to pecking?
     
  7. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    There can be a number of reasons for the pecking, blood is just one of them.
    Have you treated for mites and lice recently, are they getting animal proteins in there diet?

    You said something about pecking at there feet? That could be a sign that they have scaly leg, if so you can put some Vaseline all over there legs to kill the mites under the scales.

    Also take the bandages off, all that does is encourage more pecking.
     
  8. JacobMaxwell

    JacobMaxwell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll get those bandages off. I just thought it would hide the blood. I've had a mite problem in the past and It caused baldness. I suppose it could be scaly leg mites, but the legs look completely normal except for the peck woulds.
     
  9. Fancypants1

    Fancypants1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You said you had mites before.... I just posted this today - could my girl have mites?

    I just noticed that my 8 month BR is losing the small feathers on one side of her head. I checked for bugs but can not see any.

    Also, does her comb look frost bitten? Does Vaseline help? I have a small window with hardware wire open but it is below were they sleep. Do I need to add another hole for ventilation above their heads in the coop? We are getting 2 - 3 feet of snow tonight so they will be locked in for the next couple of days.

    What should I look for around her head for bugs?? I did not see anything but I know they are very small.

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  10. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Sorry to hear that you are going through this. I have also heard that salt in the water may help -- the amounts I'm not certain - it is in Gail Damerow's book Storey's Guide to keeping chickens - I think... There is also a plastic product that fits over the beak that prevents pecking and also breaking into egg shells - other than that the chicken can function normally.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/685579/bumper-bits-i-just-installed-one-on-my-hen

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/omlet-us-bumpa-bits

    I had some photos of one I used on an Ideal 236 - I will come back and post if I find them on here.

    this link has some photos:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/673137/device-to-stop-pecking
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015

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