Egg Eating, Feather Picking breeders, Help?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LostGosling, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. LostGosling

    LostGosling Chirping

    Jul 11, 2011
    I have a d'Uccle hen that picks the others' beards out. I tryed rubbing Vix salve on her pen mates' beards to stop it, but it actually made the problem worse. My trio had also been going after there own eggs for a while like they were supposed to be eating them all along! Grrr. I can't breed chickens if I can't get any unbroken eggs from them! I've turned them out onto the yard to free range, and I think the egg eating has stopped, but the one is still picking the others ragged. She follows them around in the yard, eating their beard feathers out while they graze. I'm not going to use her in the program anymore because of this, but I'm afraid that the other will go right back to egg eating if I confine them again. Any known remedies that I could try? A change in the diet, maybe? I already tryed slipping them "Bad Eggs" (made of hot mustard, salt, soy sauce, cayenne pepper, and hot sauce [​IMG]), but they ate them like there was nothing wrong and continued their egg eating benge [​IMG].
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011

  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    The first thing to try is to increase the amount of protein she is getting. Check your current feed and see if you can get something with a higher protein content. I.e. layer feed is typically 14-16% while grower is 18-20%. You can also add protein by giving mealworms and crickets, or meat scraps.
  3. LostGosling

    LostGosling Chirping

    Jul 11, 2011
    Thank-you! I'll buy them a sack of DuMor Grower/Finisher and mix it with some Layena Scratch Grain. I can't afford insects for them, they're around $8 for a little bag at our farm store. Also, do you know how I could stop my birds' tail feathers from rubbing off while they're in their cages at night? My favorite part of my birds is their little fanned up tails and they look terrible when they get all bent and ragged.
  4. so lucky

    so lucky Songster

    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    Can you put them in bigger cages?
  5. boogiedog

    boogiedog Songster

    Apr 19, 2010
    Oakland hills, CA
    You may also want to try black oil sunflower seeds - a 50lb bag is about $20 and will last a long time. I have also put "peepers" on the offendant hens. They come in a plastic version which is relatively easy to install and remove.

    You didn't say how old they are, but picking can be an adolescent that may stop. BUT, add some protein and consider temporarily installing peepers on her and see if the problem goes away.

    Good luck!

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