Desperate last humane resort....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LoneCowboy, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    I can't stop my hens from picking at each other. They are a year old they've been doing for at least 7-8 months. They don't draw blood, they just eat each others feathers. Now I've posted on this before and I've done everything you all have told me to do with the exception of the axle grease. They aren't over crowded, I've added protien, Avia 2000, done the salt cure, used blu-kote and hot pick. My most resent attempt was to move the worse offenders, sell the 2 very worst and move a roo and and some other girls in with the older girls. I've been spraying them down every night with Hot Pick. Guess what, they aren't picking their backs, and bottoms anymore but have moved to their necks, chests and undersides.

    I just can't keep this up and I can't allow them to spread their bad habits to the new girls, so I've decided to get the metal bits for their beaks, it's not permanent like debeaking them and I hope it's more humane. So here are some questions: 1. has anybody used these before? 2. Do I need to feed them pellets instead of crumbles? 3. How long do you think I need to keep them in before they break the habit? 4. Are they easy to put in and take out? 5. Any thing else I need to know about them?

    Thanks for your input
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Gee, you have some stubborn hens!! They are creatures of habit though, and it seems they have picked up the pecking habit for sure...

    I don't have any experience with the rings - i've seen the plastic ones sold as anti-pick devices and it seems logical that they would work.

    I'd be interested to see what info you can get here...
  3. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Thanks, I'm really nervous about doing anything to them that's going to make them unhappy. But I've got to do something. They really don't even seem to mind being picked at. They just lay there dust bathing and some chicken will be eating feathers off them and they don't even budge. What a bunch of weirdos. Anyway, they look like they went though a plucker for a short time. They aren't even molting. The SLW's have sunburned backs. It's very sad to see. They are probably cooler though [​IMG]
  4. warren

    warren Songster

    Sep 29, 2007
    I used a plastic beak ring on one of mine. They are not too difficult to fit. The hen was really mad about it at first and ran about hissing, but calmed down after an hour or two. I took it out after a month and then found her following the other hen with blood all over her beak so it had to go in again. She had it in till the day she died. I think that what started mine pecking was lice. They were ex-bats and they were bald and had lice when I obtained them.

    Just make sure that she can eat and drink.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  5. fivebigreds

    fivebigreds Songster

    Sep 9, 2007
    middle Tennessee
    They need meat in their diet is why they peck at and eat each other . cook some hamburger or any meat you can get cheap and feed a small amount to them per day and see if it doesn't stop.
  6. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    If you wanted to try feeding them meat. Your local butcher should have a barrel of "leftovers" you could see if they had something worth throwing to your chickens. There are usually a lot of bone and just a little meat, but the bones prevent a challenge to the chooks and helps keep them busy.

    Is your whole flock pecking each other or just an individual or two?

  7. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    I've feed them meat. I feed them black oil sunflower seeds, still they peck! Makes me CRAZY [​IMG]

    Where did you find plastic rings for chickens? I can't find big ones. I'm getting the metal ones, but think plastic would be better.
  8. Riparian

    Riparian Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    Ontario Canada
    Try letting them free range during the day?

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