1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Constant Pecking!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kcmachado, May 19, 2011.

  1. kcmachado

    kcmachado New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 19, 2011
    My hens look terrible! The constantly peck out each others feathers. I have Buff Orphingtons but now one looks like a naked neck [​IMG] I've tried vinegar in the water to no avail. They have plenty of room to roost, lay and play. I've heard this is a form of cannibalism and I should eat them but I'm not ready just yet. I have 27 new chicks and need to wait until they start laying. I also heard putting powder on the areas being pecked would instantly cure this. I just dusted them tonight, which they were very unhappy with; we'll see what happens. Any other suggestions? I'm willing to try just about anything.
     
  2. Ms.Frizzle

    Ms.Frizzle Chillin' With My Peeps

    350
    1
    101
    Apr 15, 2011
    Wisconsin
    Red blood is a stimulant to chickens, and as long as they can see it they will peck it. You should seperate this one from the flock til the feathers grow back. A red light helps prevent this, and you can use Blu-Kot to spray over the area. Its an anti-bacterial, masks the red color with blue, and also tastes nasty. However, you will have a purple chicken for a while.
     
  3. kcmachado

    kcmachado New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 19, 2011
    I have been told chickens will naturally peck at blood and I ran into this problem when one had a blow out (RIP) but no one is bloody, just bald! Everyone is pecking at everyone! Some are bright red but others are just skin color. Unfortunately, we work all day and have no idea who started it but, like everything else with chickens, follow the leader. Thanks for the advice, if my powdered butts don't work I'll try your stuff -- purple is my favorite color [​IMG]
     
  4. Ms.Frizzle

    Ms.Frizzle Chillin' With My Peeps

    350
    1
    101
    Apr 15, 2011
    Wisconsin
    It could be that the're eating the feathers because they don't have enough protein. I've heard raw meat can help with this, but idk if that complies with certain organic standards and what not. I mean, just look at how mad cow disease got started. : /
     
  5. FuzzyButtsFarm

    FuzzyButtsFarm Rest in Peace 1950-2013

    What is the protien content of your feed? Does it contain animal protien? If it doesn't you can add it as treats eg. eggs fish tuna meat. This can be a cause of picking if there are no other stressors present. Alot of behavior problems can be attributed to diet. Good luck with your hens.
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If you are giving low protein treats you might try stopping those for just awhile to increase their total protein. (I am assuming you are feeding a commercial ration.) Just checking, but do you know how much protein is in your feed? Are they on layer ration?

    You can try putting no pick lotion or salve over the areas to see if that helps - the feed store has it in my area.
     
  7. kcmachado

    kcmachado New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 19, 2011
    I've never heard about low protein before. I am feeding them commercial layer feed with 16% protein. I'll have to inquire the next time I'm at the grain store about a higher protein feed. Thanks for the suggestion! I'll keep posting:)
     
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If you are feeding your chicks and hens together you might consider Flock Raiser (20% protein) with oyster shell on the side for the layers. Chicks need 20% protein for 6 weeks.

    Or, if you are feeding the chicks medicated starter and don't want to eat eggs with that in them, you can feed the hens higher protein grower feed (17% usually) with oyster shell on the side if you can't find flock raiser.

    When you have teenager chickens, higher protein than 18% can be inadvisable according to this:

    "Grower pullet rations. If youÂ’re raising young pullets to become layers, you want them to grow slowly enough to develop good strong bones and to reach a normal body weight before they begin producing eggs. High-protein diets tend to hurry the birds into production before their bodies are quite ready. Therefore, the ration for growing pullets, from leaving the brooder at 6 weeks to about 14 weeks, should be about 18 percent protein."

    Read more: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-choose-commercial-chicken-feed.html#ixzz1NPhVeYZA

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=358980
    see
    post #2

    A lot of people prefer to feed their grown hens 20% protein. You can search the threads for this.

    Also they make pinless peepers which are blinders for chickens. I have never tried them.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by