Chicken getting picked raw


9 Years
Aug 20, 2010
I have had a picking problem for several months. I bought some capes to protect their backs and that helped a lot, but the capes keep falling off. Plus, they started picking on the wings instead of the backs. Well, I then found out that the feather picking and eating could be a nutritional thing. I bought them the higher protein chicken feed and gave them some cat food in for a bit to help boost their protein. I also made sure they had oyster shells for calcium. I think it has helped, but one of the girls is getting picked badly in spite of all these measures. Her butt, back, and tops of wings are picked bald and look red now. I'm going to put the cape on yet again to see if I can make it stay. I put rooster booster on it as well as some blue coat or whatever that's called.

Today I saw one cornering her and just picking her while she made noise. I flailed my arms and yelled at Hennie (the picker) to stop and she wouldn't. We had to poke her to make her stop. The others get picked too, including Hennie (or they did get picked), but little Omelet is bald. What can I do?

They don't pick her at night that I know of. I'm trying to figure out how to separate her from the other girls for now so she can heal, but I can't think of a good way. I only have one coop. They normally get the run of the yard, but are currently in a run because I'm letting part of the lawn grow back. The lawn actually is coming back quickly so I might be able to let her in the yard during the day and leave the other girls in the run. That would be a good way I think. However, I need to think of an idea for now. I feel like I need to separate her or she's just going to keep getting picked.

Can you guys think of anything else I can do? Poor girl.

Thanks for any advice.

If there is one that is doing the pecking, she also needs to be separated, preferably for a week or so. This changes the pecking order so that she will be at the bottom when returned.

You might also need to increase their space -- the usual causes of pecking are crowding and too little protein.
They've all been picking, but this one seems to get the brunt of it. The one I saw picking today also gets picked. I've got 4 girls and their run is about 100-150 sq ft not including their coop. The picking started before I enclosed them in the run, but it's definitely worse now, but I have no idea if that's because they are in the run or not.

Any ideas on how to go about separating them logistically?

Ugg, sorry for your girls
. Is there any way that you can increase their run size? or let them free range a couple of hours a day. Someone commented on one of my posts about treats for chickens, and someone said that they put a tennis ball inside a sock, then cover teh sock with peanut butter and roll the peanut butter sock in sun flower seeds. Seems like a great idea to keep them busy, insted of picking. I wish you success in getting your picking epidemis under control!
Also, try looking on for dog pens, chicken coops, and even chicken wire for free to build some contnainments for each chicken.

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