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Does feed affect hens pecking eachother/themselves ?

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by NJChick4, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. NJChick4

    NJChick4 New Egg

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    We use Layena plus - we have four hens - they are pecking themselves and eachother...one hen is particularly beaten up. We have tried to blue kote - any other advice?
     
  2. DrMikelleRoeder

    DrMikelleRoeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pecking can be the one-size-fits-all response to a number of stressors, and stress comes in many shapes and forms. Space -- not just physical square footage but also adequate feeder and waterer space -- is very important. There may be an unknown predator lurking around at night, keeping the birds awake (and anyone who has had small children knows no good ever comes of sleep deprivation). Dominance -- as in pecking order -- is always a factor, and it may be that the really beat-up hen simply doesn't have enough places to hide from the other hens (which can get back to issues of space). External parasites that irritate the hens and internal parasites that rob them of nutrients can be stressors. Lighting that is too bight or on 24/7 is a stressor. You may want to sit back and thoroughly assess your situation and see if there are any equipment or management changes you can make that might result in less stress for the birds. Pecking is the symptom that something is amiss; the challenge is to figure out what.
     
  3. Gayelynne

    Gayelynne Out Of The Brooder

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    Please anyone out there know what I can do to stop my other girls from pecking my hurt one? I have tried cream wrapping it and none worked. It goes on every day. At night I locked her up in a big cage and have a heat light on all of them. But during the day I let her out and the savage begins what can I do to stop this so she heals from something attacking her? It was starting to scab over but they stopped that from happening. Please someone out there any good advice?????
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Keep her separated until she heals. She will be OK locked up. Chickens can be cannibals. If they see blood or wounds they may peck at it and can eat another chicken alive. it doesn't always happen but it certainly can. Let the wounds heal before you let her mix with the others.

    It sounds like they might still be a bit young. Has she started laying yet? Maturity can be a big factor in them being picked on. My pullets don't normally merge into the big girl flock until they have started laying.

    Is it just one hen leading the attack and causing the damage? If you can isolate the troublemaker, maybe that picked on hen will be Ok with the rest of the flock. If you can identify one problem hen, you can try isolating her a week or more to knock her down in the pecking order. That may teach her manners when you put her back with the flock. Or some hens are just brutes that don't deserve to live with a flock.
     
  5. DrMikelleRoeder

    DrMikelleRoeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ridgerunner is correct -- if one hen is the problem, then isolating her will allowed the submissive one to integrate with the flock. If it's more of a gang thing, then the beaten up hen will need to be isolated until she is completely healed, and then the situation must be monitored to ensure she does not become a target again. But quite often the act of isolating one overly aggressive hen allows the dynamics of the entire flock to soften. She may be instigating more aggressive behavior in other hens that they normally would not display. If that is the case, and you are not overly attached to the aggressive hen, then finding her a new home may be the most effective and soothing option in the long term.
     
  6. Gayelynne

    Gayelynne Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all for your posts. My girls are all pretty big now. Laying eggs everyday. The hurt one will be ok in the cage all day. She freaks out when I get out there in the am because she can't wait for me to open the cage to let her out. I just hate the thought of locking her up all day while the 3 other girls get to go out in the run. But I guess it's for a good cause. Also anyone know how high above the perch my heat lamps should be I have them like 3 feet above is that to far away? Should I move them just a little closer? I only turn the lights on when it's really cold here in wisconsin. Like last night. Anyone have any good advice? Also what feed should I be useing? Right now I have layer feed with scratch mixed also added crushed corn in a huge plastic trash can mixed very well. I'm crazy I know but new Chicken Mother and want what's best? Is this way to much? Oh I also was giving them dried mealy worms everyday a handful 2 times a day. Yes to much protein will slow that down here soon my girls LOVE them but I will do it gradually. Sorry I'm not experienced chicken owner but I'm learning from all your posts Thank you all for the great advice. Please someone help me figure out a good food diet for my Sweethearts for the winter? Money is a little low but I will do what's best for my girls. Thanks for any advice on here???????
     
  7. DrMikelleRoeder

    DrMikelleRoeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your birds are laying, then at least 90% of their total diet should be the layer feed. I suspect you may be feeding too much extra grains, which dilutes the balanced nutrition of the layer feed and may leave the birds subclinically deficient in several nutrients, especially calcium. If your birds start a molt or cease laying, then it is recommended to switch to a starter/grower feed that is not so high in calcium. The higher protein in the S/G feed will also help them with feather regrowth. If your coop is insultaed, you may not need heat lamps at all. If it is not insulated but provides good protection, then you may only need one. Animals and birds have amazing ability to make physiological adaptations to cold. We humans not so much, so we anthropomorphize and think our animals need all these extra heat sources. Have you peeked into the coop at night to see where the birds roost in relation to the lamps? If they are close to them, then they are seeking the heat; if they are away from them, then the lamps may be too close to the birds. The mealworms are fine, though I might cut them to once a day just for economy -- they are pretty pricey!
     
  8. Gayelynne

    Gayelynne Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2014
    Thank you for your post. I'm very thankful for all the advice from all you chicken lovers.
     
  9. Gayelynne

    Gayelynne Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2014
    Hi I have a bigger problem and need some professional help from all you chicken lovers I have 4 hend 2 Rhode Island Reds and 2 white don't know what kind but 3 of them are fine very healthy 1 of my Rhode Island Reds is not looking so good her comb and waddle have shrink they are very small and kinda pale still not white so hopefully that's a good sign what might be going on she's eating this just started over this summer was never like this before. Her poop is somewhat runny whitish yellowish I tried to download pics but having a hard time. She's eating No worms No mites No pasty but I'm lost I have been google this it's saying Anemic please help don't want her to die.pics won't download
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    How old is she?
    What are they eating?
    Is she thin, prominent keel bone?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2015

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