Chickens are pecking feathers and eating them

br549redneck

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 20, 2015
7
4
54
North Central Texas
I have 6 barred Rocks approximately 28-30 weeks old, 3 are laying. I have 2 of the hens that are laying pulling feathers out of other chickens to the point the area around the vent is bare. The 2 picking happen to be 2 of the ones laying. They are fed Purina layeena pellets free choice available all times.And one 12 oz dixi cup of cracked corn a week. The coop is 4'x6' with an attached 10'x10' run . What can I do to stop the picking? 4 chickens have bare areas from this.
 

Shadowfire

Crowing
Aug 14, 2018
802
3,720
327
USA
My Coop
My Coop
Give them things to do to distract them, and cover and bare/bloody areas with Redkote. Try hanging a head of cabbage in the run for them to peck at or spreading treats on the ground, and also give them access to oyster-shell grit if they don't already have it. Feather picking is usually with chicks, but can occur with older birds too. It's caused by the need of minerals when chicks are in the pinfeather stage, and older birds will do it because they are bored and don't have anything better to do. Good luck!
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
Jul 26, 2016
5,033
9,255
621
Connecticut, USA
Try a higher Protein feed like Folly's Place said. A Non-Medicated Starter-Grower/Start & Grow 18%. A 18% Layers feed like Hearty Hen/Feather Fixer, or a 20% All-Flock/Flock Raiser.
My Golden Comets feather picked on a 16% Layers feed. I changed back to a 18% Layers feed and stayed with that for nearly a year. I lost two hens, was down to three and feed went bad before it was used up, a 40# bag. So I switched to a Non-Medicated Start and Grow feed that was available in a 25# bag with Oyster Shells in a separate container.
I now have seven Pullets not yet Laying and feed them and my three Hens the same feed. Either a Non-Medicated Starter-Grower or a Flock Raiser in a 50# bag, whichever is fresher when I'm at TSC.
I don't know if I will switch to a 18% Layers feed when my Pullets are laying or continue with the current feed. I would rather feed Pellets than Crumbles. GC
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,994
37,618
1,096
southern Michigan
I'd rather feed pelleted feed too, but the Flock raiser has been so good here, and unavailable in pellets. I now use the yellow plastic feeders from Premier, and have much less waste than before.
IMG_0427 (1).JPG Mary
 

MANNA-PRO

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