Chickens pecking each other and eating feathers

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LeghornGuy, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. LeghornGuy

    LeghornGuy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2007
    New Orleans
    Several of my chickens are being pecked by other chickens. Three chicks (8 weeks old) are missing their tail little feathers because of the pecking and eating of feathers.
    My white leghorns are pecking the brown leghorns and my Buff Orpington.
    My leghorns seem to be aggressive.
    My Buff Orpingtons are docile and passives
    Is this due to a lack of vitamins?
    I let them free range for one hour a day and then placed them back in the coop. Any suggestions?
    I have been feeding them start and grow.
    What can I do to stop the feather pecking and feather eating?

    The LeghornGuy in Louisiana
     
  2. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!!

    Usually pecking problems come from too many birds in too small an area. They could also be low on protein, but most likely it's a space problem. Are they all the same age? How many are there, how big is their coop, how big is their run? More information will help us to help you figure out the problem.
     
  3. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Hi LegHornGuy in New Orleans - I'm across the lake in Covington. BeckLa is right - it's probably an issue of overcrowding. Our weather here is so hot and humid and miserable that a bunch of birds deprived of exercise and the natural food sources they need will begin to pick on one another. Have your birds always been together or did you just recently add the ones that are being picked on?

    I have three age groups of chickens all cohabitating happily but I have a very large coop and run (30' x 60') and I let them out each morning and they stay out till dark free ranging in our woods. I also feed them fresh fruits, vegetables, oats, cheese - pretty much you name it - they are omnivores and will and do eat everything. I have never seen mine fighting or pecking one another but I don't doubt they would resort to it in a minute if they were all "cooped" up together all day/night.
     
  4. LeghornGuy

    LeghornGuy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2007
    New Orleans
    Thank YOu BeckyLA and Ruth
    I will expand the coop and chicken run area.
     
  5. LeghornGuy

    LeghornGuy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2007
    New Orleans
    Hi Ruth
    Is there a place in Covingon or Abita Springs that sells chicks ?
    I ordered my chicks online from Ideal Poultry.
    My folks live in Abita Springs and they also ordered from Ideal. (They relocated there from Chalmette due to Katrina). They love the Northshore and their chickens.
     
  6. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Leghorns don't tolerate confinement very well...I speak from experience with my Obelisk...She'd rather be out and about and doing things than stuck inside...They need things to do. You could try hanging a head of lettuce or cabbage so that they'd have to jump to get a bite.
     
  7. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Jan 11, 2007
    once this behavior starts it is often hard to stop...separate the ones with feathers missing (when the soft new ones start to appear they will be pecked again)... put some watermelon slices in there for them to peck at instead of each other...
     
  8. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Quote:Hi LegHorn - yes, several. We're still mostly country over here though we are considered a bedroom community of New Orleans. Lots of farmers still here.

    There are four places here that I've bought chicks from as well as supplies/feed. Spencers, Marsolans, Lee Road Feed, and Mid Point Feed. Spencers and Marsolans are in downtown Covington and Lee Road and Mid Point are on the same corner where Lee Road meets "Barkers Corner". I just purchased the baby buff orps from Lee Road (892-6506) and he said they carry chicks off and on throughout the year. Spencers and Marsolans only carry them in the spring. I'm not sure if Mid Point carries them year round or not.

    Funny story - while buying buff orps chicks at Lee Road a couple of weeks ago, I had my 11 year old nephew with me. I was asking the man about baby buffs and whether he carries chicks year round. He said yes he carries a variety of chicks year round. Said, "I've been trying to get some Australorps for a long time but I just can't seem to get any." My nephew spoke up and said: "Why, you can't catch them?"[​IMG]

    If you come over this way let me know. You can stop by and say "hi" and meet my husband and myself and see our flock. You have to pass right by me if you head to Lee Road.
     

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