Chickens Eating Each Other Literally

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 27strong, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. 27strong

    27strong In the Brooder

    Dec 17, 2011
    They are molting. I have 23 hens. They all have bare backs. They are eating each others new feathers. It gets worse. They keep pecking at each other until they have bloody holes in their back. I have 3 cases so far. I need advise on what to do. Idon't now why they do it. I now i have to isolate them. Problem is how? I can't put two in the same cage they will peck at each other. So how to isolate? I am worried about space because over the coarse of the day when I come back home I don't want them to be sitting in their own crap.

  2. gmolly

    gmolly In the Brooder

    Jan 24, 2012
    powell wyoming
    had the same problem , my sister told me to rub vicks on them an they well stop .an they did ,.get a big jar of vicks an rub it all over them .
  3. eksterhuis

    eksterhuis Chirping

    Jan 7, 2012
  4. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    You need to give them extra protein!! They are seeking protein from the other birds feathers. I like the dry mealworms but some use a good dry cat food (I'm not fond of much cat food as it has too much salt for them so if you use it only give a little). You can give them some fish meal--its great for them too. Too much fish can flavor the eggs but since they are molting they are probably not laying anyway right now.

    Also, make sure you put Blu Kote on the wounds to keep the others from pecking the red from the blood.

  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    This kind of cannibal behavior usually has a few causes. Stress from boredom and over crowding. I've rarely seen this behavior among free ranging hens that have busy days, in the wide open, using up their picking tendencies on the grass, dirt and bugs instead of each other.

    Increased protein MAY be of some help, but it is much more likely that boredom and confinement issues are in play. This is why close confinement caged birds have their beaks trimmed.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  6. m.kitchengirl

    m.kitchengirl Songster

    Jun 4, 2011
    X2 Fred's Hens.
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I am of the same opinion as Fred's Hens. How big is your space for these 23 hens? Inside and outside?

  8. branston

    branston Chirping

    May 23, 2011
    There's also Rooster Booster pick No More. I'd give the Vics a go first though as it's pricey. I'd also invest in some chicken aprons. I got mine from Louise's Country Closet at a very reasonable price
  9. 27strong

    27strong In the Brooder

    Dec 17, 2011
    thank you guys I will check test it out.

  10. You may also think about getting peepers. I agree with upping the protein and making sure they have adequate space. Peepers seem to completely fix it for many; I still have one who has figured out how to pluck with her peepers on, while they are totally out free-ranging. I need to put her in the penalty box by herself to see if I can break her of it.

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