CANNIBALISM???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Damummis, May 6, 2009.

  1. Damummis

    Damummis Chickenista

    Apr 29, 2009
    Mid-Coast
    I am new to the chicken keeping world and I was wondering if ALL breeds of chickens can and will be cannibals if given the chance or just certain kinds? Cause that just grosses me out!!!
     
  2. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

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    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Some breeds seem to be more prone to it than others - but I firmly believe the biggest factor is boredom. And once one starts doing it, it becomes a learned behavior for others. Feather picking/plucking is an early warning sign. Spend a little time reading up on it and do what you can to prevent it from ever starting. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    There's a link in my signature that will take you to my page on what I've learned on this subject. A search on BYC will yield you MANY pages on the subject as well.
     
  3. chickenfever

    chickenfever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2008
    Arizona
    I've read that high energy foods can also be responsible. Don't feed scratch and maybe even cut down on the egg maker/layer feed. Maybe even mix w/chick starter. Avoid the more aggressive chicken breeds.
     
  4. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 11, 2008
    Murray Kentucky
    "Say, Bob... What are we going to do today?"

    "Gosh Helen, I'm not sure. Kinda bored, how about you?"

    "I'm awfully bored, too, Bob.. Say.. How about we go eat Jane."

    "Why that's a lovely idea, Helen. Lets do that!"

    Boredom is a bad thing.. [​IMG]
     
  5. Damummis

    Damummis Chickenista

    Apr 29, 2009
    Mid-Coast
    Black sunflower seeds.....Check!
    Free range when I am home.....Check!
    Something to play with when I am not home......Check!
    Less scratch....Check!
    Culled biggest offender.....Check! [​IMG] (had to be done)

    Am I missing anything????

    I do have cochins comming and current hens will be "harvested" when time comes. I was just wondering if cochins are "nicer" than the comets and EEs I have?
     
  6. Damummis

    Damummis Chickenista

    Apr 29, 2009
    Mid-Coast
    Quote:I do have to say it was a LONG and SNOWY winter. Heck I even got bored..... when I wasn't shoveling.
     
  7. jsimplytx125

    jsimplytx125 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2009
    San Antonio, Texas
    Hi all,
    This subject interests me since I have some 3 month old RiRs and an old Bantam whose legs are suddenly being pecked until covered with blood. They were raised with him but now will Not leave him alone.
    The coup is huge, 8 x 10x 12 high, lots of natural light with clear panels, run is 20x12.
    I gave him a "seven" dust bath a month ago, treated all (18) of the birds with ivomec and clean and dressed his legs with Betadine, then sprayed with Wound-Kote. I've been keeping him in a brooder in the coup and tried to re-introduce him to rest yesteday. OMG they completely surrounded him attacking his legs.

    My questions are:
    1- What feed to switch to (they are on scratch w crumbles mixed now)
    2- How long to keep him separate?
    3- suggestions for diminishing pecking behavior.
    Thank you for any help:confused:
     
  8. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

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    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Is this the only rooster you have? Was he at the top of the pecking order? You said the brooder you are keeping him in is in the coop - is it separated with wire so they can still see him while he is in there?

    It sounds like he may have lost whatever place he may have had in the pecking order. While he is separated, make sure he can see them and they can see him.

    I would remove the scratch from their diet. It really should only be an occasional snack, and not part of their regular diet.

    Find things to keep everyone busy in the run - if there is nothing growing in the run, cover the ground with raked leaves or freshly mowed grass and then sprinkle some Black Oil Sunflower Seed through out it a couple of times a day. You can do a search on cannibalism and find many suggestions for things to add to the coop/run to keep them busy. Some feel more protein will help, and it certainly won't hurt. You can do that by feeding them all scrambled eggs, yogurt, fried hamburger meat, etc. to up the protein.

    When he heals and you reintroduce him, I suggest trying pine tar - it's used to treat horses hooves and you can find it in most feed/livestock supply stores. Slather his legs good with it. It is nasty to work with, and the others will find it nasty to peck - you may need to reapply in 2 or 3 days until they get reconditioned NOT to peck his legs.

    My problem was mostly solved by free ranging. If that's an option, you will likely have good success with it as well. If not, I suggest keeping them busy and entertained in the coop and try the pine tar.
     
  9. jsimplytx125

    jsimplytx125 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2009
    San Antonio, Texas
    wow. pine tar yeh. Ok I'll by some.

    Right now the 17 are RIR about 3 months old; 15 ladies and 2 gentlemen. no wattles yet.

    They have a large outside tree covered run with roosts at different levels among the low to five feet high branches.

    a Cabbage every other day, cherry tomatos, crookneck squash and pre-torn springmix salad about once a week.

    I switched them back to crumbles.

    My husband throws freshly mowed grass in weekly.

    I am expecting a order of Guinea keets anyday so I put Ol man Banty roo out free ranging with a main groups common fence.

    Oh yes, the brooder is totally in view of everyone (Old rabbit hutch)

    Ol man Banty roo is the only one I've seen pecked and only his feet?

    I did noticed today that legs are beginning to heal enough to see some healthy yellow in a sopt.
    poor little guy.
     

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