Chicken Boredom and Feather Picking

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Fire-Chicken, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. Fire-Chicken

    Fire-Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2012
    South Florida
    Hello to All !!

    Not sure of the problem, or solution, but here goes...

    My 2 Reds are losing tail feathers. The 2 Buffs have nothing going on. The Reds (one in particular) is the lead hen and really knows it. I have no roos.

    They get good protein from their feed (Nutrena Layer pellets), 6 hours a week run time in the yard, and plenty of scratch (witout over-doing it).

    If I bought and applied a 'mite treatment' and used grass and / or cabbage for 'entertainment' do you think it'll cease?

    How long does it take for the feathers to re-grow?

    My coop is a 2-story with roost, feed, water, nest boxes on top, and an open area to roam below, with water and scratch I scatter daily before they wake (always a nice surprise for them to awaken to). A pix of it can be found under the heading "Black Bear vs Chicken Coop".

    Thanks to all, in advance!

    Fire-chicken
     
  2. JanetS

    JanetS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2012
    How old are your Reds? They could be molting.
     
  3. Fire-Chicken

    Fire-Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2012
    South Florida
    Good thought. They are 7, almost 8 months old. I've never seen them "picking" each other either.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Feather picking is generally the result of two thing. Not enough animal protein in the diet. (feeding a vegetarian feed) and too small of area and boredom sets in.

    Do you have a photo of your coop setup?
     
  5. Fire-Chicken

    Fire-Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2012
    South Florida
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Fire-Chicken

    Fire-Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2012
    South Florida
    That bear is the reason I recently installed an electric fence around the coop. VERY Effective [​IMG]
    Caought them on my hunting camera. I have videos of them NOT liking it too much.

    As for the feather picking, any suggestion? I think that coops is big enough for 4 chickens.
     
  8. JanetS

    JanetS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2012
    Good to know about the electric fence. We are going to buy one soon. We are having bobcat troubles. About your chickens, your coop looks big enough to me. Can't tell from the picture but does it have any windows? I also live in Florida and know all about the heat. We have three windows in our 3' x 6' coop for our 5 chickens. My chickens had a juvenile molt around that age. Two of them lost tail feathers. Just a thought. Good luck with that bear. Wow.
     
  9. Angel16

    Angel16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    i would love to see that video!
     
  10. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    If its the fluffy feathers under the tail, I would check for lice. Some of my girls started losing those feathers last winter when it wasn't as cold as it should have been. I dusted them with Sevin, 3 times, spaced out 10 days. Not all of my chickens had a problem either.
     

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