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Chicken Pecking Emergency

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by nharbison0722, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. nharbison0722

    nharbison0722 Chirping

    May 26, 2016
    Hi everyone! I recently posted about one of my chicks pecking the feather completely off the backside on one of my chickens, drawing blood then attracting all the birds to them because of the blood.
    I separated the injured bird and have been treating them. The next day i found the same breed of chicken (Rhode island reds) with the same problem, yet maybe a little worse. I put her in the kennel with the other injured bird.
    I watched outside my door to see if I could find the aggressive bird and I ended up finding TWO! So now those two are in solitary confinement to calm them down a bit. I just don't know what to do! Why is this all of the sudden happening? Everything was absolutely great until now. I even found one of my Cuckoo Murrans with some of her hind end feather missing, but no blood.
    I am feeding the extra calcium, as I've heard that this can cause feather pecking.'I am using a product called Banixx Wound Care, followed by blue Wound-Kote to protect the area. I also was recommended a product called Pick-No-More by Rooster Booster cover up lotion. Supposed to help keep others from pecking. Guess I'll have to use this on all my girls for a while. I am totally at a loss and would love any additional advice that you might have. I've received some superb advice on my first post, but gosh, this had just gotten out of control!

  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Calcium levels do not relate to feather-pecking. I'd put your issue down to displacement behaviour, i.e. it is caused either by environmental stress (overcrowding, for example) or the birds not having the opportunity to perform their innate behaviours.

    It could be that the feather-pecking behaviour that may have started with one bird, has now been replicated by other flock members. You have done the right thing by removing the feather peckers from the flock. I'd look at space provisions, both in the coop and run and also look at ways of enriching the environments of both (if you search for "entertaining chickens" or "toys for chickens" you may get some ideas. Installing additional perches, providing a dust bathing area, throwing food in the bedding (my flock go crazy for millet seed) may go some way to help.

    It's worth mentioning that increasing protein levels is something that many members also believe helps - maybe change from layers to grower feed (and offer optional oyster shell for those that may need calcium) would achieve this.

    Once a negative behaviour has been learned, its not easy to rectify, but it will be a case of doing all you can and then observing closely how individual chickens behave.
  3. nharbison0722

    nharbison0722 Chirping

    May 26, 2016

    Thanks for all the wonderful advice! I'm racking my brain trying to figure out how to make my run bigger. I live in the city and space is limited. I know that the coop needs to be bigger, but I just don't know how to accomplish that. I might have to purchase some chicken housing and add it on to the existing run. Again- I really appreciate your knowledge and insight!
    Take care,

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