chicken being bullied, really need help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by amoobaa, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. amoobaa

    amoobaa Hatching

    Nov 24, 2007
    Hi all,

    This looks like a really good forum! I'm just hoping someone could help me...

    My parents have three chickens, one about 2 years old and the other two are about half a year old.

    The three chickens sleep in an 'eglu' which is nice and snug and insulated. The older chicken always sleeps on the nest bit.

    The problem is this:

    Lately my mum has been closing the little sleeping compartment of the eglu completely (they are still protected by the fox proof run) because its so COLD!!!

    However, the older chicken, who is the boss and who sleeps on the nest has been having her neck, wing and tail feathers plucked at by the other two...

    My mum believes this is because they are trying to lay their eggs in the nest and she wont move out of it (as she cant because she can't get out of the sleeping compartment, because they are locked in because of the weather.)

    So my mum has been leaving it open now! and its so cold!!
    she was told that the eglu would happily house three chickens, and i've looked myself and they each have room to sleep fine, but its a bit cosy... especially if they cant get out when they want too.

    I'm worried because it seems that either we will have a bullied chicken, or three very cold chickens??

    I dont live at home with my parents anymore, they aren't my chickens, and i can't buy them a new coop!! (i just spent almost £1000 on my budgie who i love to pieces, im totally broke)... but i really want some advice to give my mum.

    Thank so so much,

  2. bunch-a-chickens

    bunch-a-chickens Songster

    Nov 23, 2007
    Claiborne County Tn.
    blu kote can be applied to the pecked areas which will help keep the other chickens from pecking on it again, and you can put a heat lamp outside near the iglu and open it up.
  3. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    I think they may have a space issue, which will cause them to peck.
  4. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    Just remember if you use Blue Kote, you can't ever eat that particular bird.
  5. homecatmom

    homecatmom Songster

    Quote:I thought Blue Kote was one of the standard remedies for picking.. [​IMG] I didn't know you couldn't eat a bird having used it on them.. [​IMG]
  6. amoobaa

    amoobaa Hatching

    Nov 24, 2007
    thanks everyone, i'll pass on that info to my mum..

    never heard of blu kote, i'll see if my mum can buy some.
    Feel sorry for the poor chickens [​IMG]

    Take care!
  7. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    It says on the bottle that it can't be used on horses intended for human consumption. I'd imagine it would be much more concentrated in a chicken's body than a horse's.
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Sounds to me like the basic problem is the chickens feeling crowded, esp. with the door closed. Any kind of anti-pick stuff will at *best* only be treating the 'symptom' not the root problem.

    So, what about getting some heavy duty clear plastic and bungeing it down over the run, so that the eglu door can be left open? Part of the plastic could be pushed up during the day and mild nights, then pushed back down for full coverage on colder nights.

    If you could find anyone with a lg. doghouse or wooden packing crate that you could have, you could also attach that to the opposite end of the run, giving them more space AND a second shelter, which might help too.

    Good luck,

  9. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    I vote for 'better cold than too crowded'.

    I think we do not give our chickens 'credit' for being well insulated. Why is a down comforter considered the top of the line??? Because it insulates so well. Until synthetic fabrics and fibers were invented, down was used to insulate sleeping bags, coats and other items used for camping in cold weather.

    Chickens have a very nice insulating system - they have down close to their skin, then layers and layers of feathers. All those layers trap the warm air next to their skin and keep them from freezing. The only really vulnerable parts of a chicken are the combs/wattles and their feet. Their feet are tucked up under them when they sleep, and unless your temps are getting VERY VERY cold - like below freezing for days on end and your chickens have the very tall, thin combs they will be fine. (you can always put vaseline/petroleum jelly on their combs and wattles when it gets really cold if you are worried about frostbite)

    Your chickens will be fine as long as they can get in out of the weather. I'd think 3 well insulated birds in the space of an eglu would be plenty to keep them warm, even in well-below-freezing temps.
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I too second the cold is better than crowded. How cold is cold anyways? It was freezing with night temps about 25F at 11pm or so in the past few days, and ALL my birds sleep outside. They really are tough, just don't let them run out of food so they can keep warm.

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