Feather-less Birds! Cannablism?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Seapelt, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. Seapelt

    Seapelt New Egg

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    May 25, 2010
    Olympia, WA
    So I got 50 Black Sex-Link hens back in November. When they were younger we kept them in a chicken tractor in the chicken pen untill they were old enough to be around the older chickens without the worry of them hurting them. When they were in the tractor, they pecked and pulled each other's feathers because I assumed that they were too close. I was never too concerned because I figured that they would grow back

    To this day, they still have no feathers around their tail. And just a few minutes ago I noticed that one of the hens had blood comming from her vent. Is this a cannablism problem? What can I do to fix it?
     
  2. Chicken Fried

    Chicken Fried Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 7, 2008
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    I am having the same problem. My co-op suggested a higher protein feed, I started them on it a couple days ago, so not sure if it is working yet. He said sometimes they eat feathers if they dont get enough protein.
     
  3. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Indianapolis
    We have not had this problem but have seen several posts regarding feather plucking and cannabalism due to lack of protein. I would try a higher protein feed or supplementing their diet to help with this problem. Just my opinion though. I have also heard that ground cat food is a good supplement since it is about 30% protein but that would be up to you. Maybe someone has some better ideas?
     
  4. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are these birds free ranging or are they penned? If penned, how big is the pen and how many birds are you running in there? Also, what are your nighttime arrangements - i.e. coop, barn, outside roost? Picking and cannibalism are generally caused by environmental problems and occasionally by nutritional deficiencies.

    You do know that you should take the hen with the bloody vent out of the flock to protect her? At the very least, you'll need to put some BlueKote on her wounds to try to deter any more pecking at her vent. Otherwise, whoever is responsible will not stop until she's dead and then, yes, you have a cannibalism problem.

    If you'll give everyone a little info on your chicken housing situation, maybe you'll get some helpful suggestions on how to stop this problem before it gets out of hand.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  5. I Dream 0f Chickens *U*

    I Dream 0f Chickens *U* Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
    Broussard, LA
    Cat food generally contains chicken. Is that a problem when you feed it to chickens? Could you end up with "mad chicken disease"?
     
  6. muell112

    muell112 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I think of chicken tractors, I think of a small enclosures. 50 birds is a lot and without knowing more about your situation I would guess overcrowding is at play. Chickens are cannibalistic and I would definitely remove the one that has blood. If not, they will keep picking and then want more in the future, including from blood feathers. So, more space is probably needed, as well as distractions. For instance, some good non-chickens they might like to pick at are squash (cut in half) - big hard squash like acorn. Or "flock block". I get this at the local hardware store. It's essentially a large cube (~1'X1') of seeds, corn etc stuck together that they can pick at. My chickens love this. Can you let them out to free range at all? They'll keep themselves plenty busy with grass, bugs etc.
     
  7. muell112

    muell112 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh yeah, and why don't you just get some pellets formulated for chickens at a local feed store? Should give you the ideal protein/carb/etc ratios for different life stages. I use Layena pellets.
     
  8. Seapelt

    Seapelt New Egg

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    May 25, 2010
    Olympia, WA
    I seperated the hen as soon as i noticed her bloody vet. Today I found that 2 more had bloody vents.

    I buy a flock block every time that I go to the feed store.

    I will try giving them some cat food, but I worried that the vent pecking means that it is something more.
     
  9. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    I Dream 0f Chickens *Ü* :

    Cat food generally contains chicken. Is that a problem when you feed it to chickens? Could you end up with "mad chicken disease"?

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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