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Chicken Pecking Out Neck Feathers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BuffBuff123, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. BuffBuff123

    BuffBuff123 Chirping

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    I have one chicken in the flock, called Goldie, who is pecking the neck feathers out of one of my other chicken, called Cuddles. I have 17 chickens, they run loose in our big garden, so it's not boredom. She has already pecked one side of her neck feathers off, it looks like she's been shaved!! Why is she doing it, and how can I stop it??
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014

  2. pwand

    pwand Songster

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    Can you post a picture? Is Goldie a Rooster?
     
  3. pwand

    pwand Songster

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    I should ask, do you have a Rooster?
     
  4. BuffBuff123

    BuffBuff123 Chirping

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    No none of them are roosters
     
  5. BuffBuff123

    BuffBuff123 Chirping

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    Not sure if I have a pic will see
     
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

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    Do you see Goldie doing it? Is she only doing it during the day or at night on the roost? The usual recommendations seem to be to try and alleviate boredom, even if they are in a large run she may have decided she can't find anything better to do, check the protein level of what you are feeding and try upping it, if it is habit/learned behavior try separating out Goldie for a few weeks and see if that stops her. Pinless Peepers also work a lot of times for this sort of thing. The Poultry Site has a good article on feather picking.
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/973/feather-loss-in-chickens
     
  7. BuffBuff123

    BuffBuff123 Chirping

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    She does it all the time, when Cuddles is standing still, she starts pecking out feathers
     

  8. BuffBuff123

    BuffBuff123 Chirping

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    Sep 17, 2013
    Köln, Germany
    She's getting quite bald now...please reply..
     
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

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    Ohio
    I would separate Goldie from Cuddles right now for at least couple of weeks, if you keep them separated she may not pluck her when you put them back together, but it is a hard habit to break. If you want to keep Goldie or Cuddles away depends, Goldie may start plucking another one of the chickens if you take Cuddles away, if she does you need to keep her separate, if she doesn't you can keep Cuddles away. I would try to separate the coop into two sections where the separated bird(s) can see and interact with the others, otherwise you may have problems when you try to reintegrate them. I would try to up their protein % of their food and see if that would help, and give them other things to do, a bale of hay where you toss a couple flakes in the garden every couple of days will help keep them busy.
    It does sound more like Goldie is doing it more as a bad habit than because she is lacking something, so I would be prepared to either keep the two of them separated, rehome one of them, or try something like Pinless Peepers or Bumper Bits, which ever you can find over there.
     
  10. ClaireR

    ClaireR In the Brooder

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    I'm having exactly the same problem with two of my hens. Barbara is going for Penny's neck feathers whenever she stands still and Penny is retaliating (albeitly more gently) by plucking the feathers from Barbara's vent area. They have plenty of room (I only have a small flock of 3 in a large area) and access to hanging cabbage heads, plenty of corn and hay to dig through. I've upped their protein intake and they get plenty of mealworm, so I doubt that diet is the problem. I've been treating both birds with anti-pecking spray on a daily basis, but it seems to be making very little difference. I can see Penny's feathers trying to grow back in, but Barbara seems to be even more attracted to the new ones. The really bizarre thing is that my other hen looks absolutely amazing in comparison. Fluffy and lovely, so they're obviously not bothered about harrassing her!

    Did you find a solution, or did you just have to separate them?
     

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