constant fighting, please advise

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by timco, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. timco

    timco Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2008
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Our 6 girls are constantly fighting for top bird, 2 BR, 2 RIR, 2EE. All 6 lay fine, two years old this spring. 3 have no tails, and one lost hers today with blood around her hind area. Seems the BRs rise and fall from power, but the EEs always get picked on even though they have never been on top of the order. I bought blinders for the BRs but they just scratch them off, they are all plastic and came from eggcartons.com. Any idea if blinders come with wire to make them stronger? We offer catfood with yogurt and 20% lay mash & pellets, and a scoop of scratch daily. Any thoughts would be appreciated as they tear each other up and it really saddens me....

    Tim
     
  2. timco

    timco Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2008
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I am pretty sure I saw something about beak trimming a while back. Any advise on this and how it works? I really have to do something...

    Tim
     
  3. wefanjr

    wefanjr Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2007
    MA
    I had a lot of issues with my hens picking feathers from each other. I had many bare Bottomed chickens for a while. Try a "Flock Block". I get from an Agway. It is a one foot cube of seed. It will direct their attention to pecking at it instead of each other.
     
  4. timco

    timco Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2008
    Salt Lake City, UT
    They always have a flock block, and my coup is 6x5 and my pen is 15x20 with a 'chunnel' (chicken tunnel) from the pen to the area behind the garage, maybe 6x25. I think they have plenty of space, but I feel very bad about the ones getting pecked soo bad. I am going to try salt in water tomorrow and pinetar as well....

    Tim
     
  5. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

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    Mar 1, 2009
    Muskogee OK
    Is it possible to make a divider in the run to seperate the two groups? I find my brahmas get picked on alot by the older ones- have thought of doing that
     
  6. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Sounds like you've covered the basics. If they have a light in the coop area, you might want to turn that off. You could also give them stuff to do like the hanging cabbage head, piles of leaves, roosts to get away, etc... I have heard that the salt water doesn't work and is bad for them.

    I am really curious about this "chunnel"--do you have a photo, or can you describe how it is made? Did they have any issues using it when it was first built?
     
  7. timco

    timco Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2008
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ahhh...the chunnel. It is about 30 feet long, and tall enough & wide enough for the birds to stand freely and easily pass each other in it. It runs along my back fence line and goes from the coop to the area behind the garage, passing behind the shrubs. It is made of standard chicken wire and is wired to the fence and makes a quarter circle down to the ground where it is staked down. They poked into it the second I cut the opening on their side, and spend a lot of time in there because they can see into out house from the middle of the chunnel. I really like the cabbage idea, and will try that, and maybe a higher roost in the pen and the pine tar thing before I proceed with the beak trim or the blinders. I heard someone say it is better to trim a beak shorter as a last resort than a life...and the well being of the birds really is the deciding factor here...not their appearance. I am sure a shorter beak will look better than a bloody stump where a tail was. I am sure it is the barred rocks that are the worst offenders, but I have seen the RIRs do it. I have never seen the EEs do it, and they are sweet birds.

    Thanks for all the advise, please feel free to comment. it is all taken as positive.

    Tim
     
  8. lbug

    lbug Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 1, 2009
    Danville, California
    I had the same problem when they were stablishing they're pecking order.
    The only thing the worked was:

    Salt in their water and putting pine tar to hide the blood. Pine tar is antiseptic, so it will keep the wound clean.

    1-The Wisconsin Experiment Station developed a "salt cure" in 1942 that is supposed to be 99% effective. For a single morning, replace the birds' usual water with water that has one tablespoon of salt added per gallon. Replace the salt water with fresh water in the afternoon. Repeat three days later.

    2-Many people swear by the "pine tar" method for birds that have had their tail feathers pulled out. Slather some pine tar (available at feed stores and garden supply stores) on the bare skin where the chicken is being pecked. It apparently tastes bad enough that pecking loses its appeal.


    [​IMG] It worked! in less than a week!! I hope it works for your flock. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009

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