Cannibalism!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Monk, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Monk

    Monk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2009
    Last week I had a hen with a wound on the base of its tail. I separated this bird and dressed its wound with Blue-Kote gave it a couple of days, the other just started in again pecking at it. I separted it again and then this morning I now have four out of six bleeding and being pecked. All now all around its vent, one is so bad I separated her and she just stands there??? They have been in their coop and run area since June with no problems, now comlpete melt down??? They are Red Sexlinks, still got six eggs this morning and have been getting six every day for the last two weeks! Coop is 4'x 6' and run is appox. 80 sq, ft. The only thing different since the begining is I added some Apple Cider Vinegar, 3 tbsp to 3 gal.??? I had chicken before and have never experience anything like this?Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    How big is their coop and run? Sometimes they will peck if they don't have enough room. I am sure someone with more experience in this will be able to help. Could it be just one mean hen that is pecking everyone or are they pecking each other? If it is just one mean hen, separate her for a week or so, then reintroduce her. It automatically puts her at the bottom of the pecking order.
     
  3. Amyable

    Amyable Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 16, 2008
    Greenleaf, WI
    Try adding protein to the diet, sunflower seeds, Flock Block, meat scraps, etc. Could they be bored? Hang cabbage or other fruits or veggies in the run to occupy their time. Keep the pecked birds separate until they are fully healed, no red at all. Use the Blue Kote, you could try No Pick (an anti-picking product.) Good luck, hope your birds knock it off.
     
  4. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Southern Iowa
    Reduce treats, no scratch, blue kote everybody, and put a red light in the coop. The red light keeps them from seeing the bloody areas and trying to peck at them. If they have too many calories from treats and scratch they can get bored and poke at each other a lot.

    Giving them a cabbage ball is a good idea though, and it won't add too many calories. You want to stay away from carbs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  5. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Cannibalism is generally due to either 1) overcrowding & stress 2) bad diet 3) boredom. In general free ranging will stop the boredom, or add things to do that are more interesting than picking each other. What do you feed? If there is one or two of them that are doing the picking, the easiest thing to do is take the perps out and cull them. It is a BAD habit, and can be hard to break. Anyone who is wounded needs to be removed and treated, not put back until healed and has some decent feather regrowth. You coop may be pretty empty for a bit, with perps removed and injured birds in hospital quarters- but this gives you time to fix the diet if that is a problem, and work on increasing space and fun for them, so the problem will not repeat itself. Also take a good look at the feathers and skin- make sure lice are not contributing to the problem.
     
  6. rocmoc

    rocmoc Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    JME (Just My Experience), We have Red Sex Link and while they are Laying Machines, They are cranky, hyper & peck at everything including us. We will stick with other breeds in the future.

    rocmoc n AZ
     
  7. Renee'

    Renee' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    Have you checked for bugs? Maybe they have mites. I think I read somewhere on BYC where the hens were irritated by the bugs and started picking their own bottom then everyone else joins in on everybody's bottom. In addition to treating the bottoms, make sure you also check for bugs and possibly sprinkle DE or Sevin in the coop and dust the girls too. Good luck to you.
     
  8. Monk

    Monk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2009
    I have DE mixed in the litter in the coop and in the straw in the nesting boxes for the bugs, mites, whatever. I haven't seen any either?

    My Red sexlinks are pretty docile around me, I have no problem picking them up. Some do avoid me but once nearby, easily picked up?

    I have been giving them cabbage once a week. I cut it in half hang one half and a couple of days later the other half. I get them a pumpkin every once in a while too?

    They get scratch feed each evening with sunflower seeds mixed in it?

    Separating them at this point is not a option, 4 bird are bad off. No where left to do this?

    4'x 6' coop and approx 80 sq ft run, pop door always open, it hasn't been an issue?

    This is absolutely bizarre to me???

    Would blnders help???
     
  9. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Quote:
     
  10. Monk

    Monk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2009
    They have layer crumbles availible 24-7. I let them out to free range also... will see???
     

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