Clingy bantam cockerel possibly stressed?

Skyler1

Hatching
Apr 13, 2021
9
5
9
Three days ago, I obtained a 5-6 week old booted bantam cockerel from craigslist. He is probably the sweetest chicken I own, and I always have him on my shoulder when I'm doing outside work, and I believe the clinginess is from his previous owner's children handling him. The problem I have is that whenever I have been absent, his leg feathers get bloodier. I have seen him pick at the feathers and if anybody has advice on what to do to help with his stress and prevent him from picking his feathers, further worsening the condition. I can't be with him 24/7, so any help would be appreciated, and I can take photos of his wound if anyone wants to see it.
 

azygous

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Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Is he your only chicken? If so, he may be picking at his own feet out of boredom. Chickens need constant companionship, and normally this isn't a problem since they usually have a flock of other chickens to fulfill this need. In the absence of another chicken, you are it. So you need to either find him a friend or find a substitute form of stimuli to keep him occupied.
 

Skyler1

Hatching
Apr 13, 2021
9
5
9
Is he your only chicken? If so, he may be picking at his own feet out of boredom. Chickens need constant companionship, and normally this isn't a problem since they usually have a flock of other chickens to fulfill this need. In the absence of another chicken, you are it. So you need to either find him a friend or find a substitute form of stimuli to keep him occupied.
I actually have 6 other chickens that are about 2 weeks older than him. They are all in the coop with him as well.
 

azygous

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Are you certain the other chickens aren't the ones pecking his feet? If he's the only feather-footed one, the other chickens often fixate on the difference.

I've found painting Blu-kote onto the targeted areas will often discourage pecking.
 

Skyler1

Hatching
Apr 13, 2021
9
5
9
Are you certain the other chickens aren't the ones pecking his feet? If he's the only feather-footed one, the other chickens often fixate on the difference.

I've found painting Blu-kote onto the targeted areas will often discourage pecking.
It is possible that the other chickens were targeting his legs, but I did notice him picking at the area. The feather has healed up by now and there doesn't seem to be any further injuries. my best guess is that he either pecked it himself, the other chickens pecked it, or a combination. I will probably pick up some Blu-kote next time I go to blain's in case this happens in the future.
 

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