Feather pecking and egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CanadaEh, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. CanadaEh

    CanadaEh Songster

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    I am wondering - is feathers loss due to feather pecking and over breeding has similar affect on egg laying as feather loss during molt?

    I have isolated the feather pecker chicken 2 weeks ago, as well as the rooster that had bloodied tail due to feather pecking. The isolated chicken have been following other chickens and the roo's butts and was pecking feathers like a maniac. The chickens already had bare backs from overly active rooster before feather pecking started.

    Now with the rooster and the feather pecking chicken in cages, the egg laying has dropped to 3 a day from 7 chickens (1 from the caged feather pecker and 2 from the remaining 6).

    Not sure what to do next - it was not that bad even in the middle of the winter. They are Barred Rocks about 11 months old.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Puppy Dreaming

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    Stress from removing birds can cause a halt to laying. Generally it will pick back up in a week or two.

    Feather picking is usually from a protein deficiency or from crowding and boredom. What protein percentage is your ration? Do you add extras? I recommend a higher protein ration, either a non medicated starter grower, or an All Flock ration with a protein percentage of 18-20% if you are having problems. Add a separate bowl of oyster shells for the calcium needs.

    How big is your set up? How many in it?
     
  3. CanadaEh

    CanadaEh Songster

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    layer pellets 18% protein (I think), free choice. Eggshells free choice. Compost pile (mostly veggies, not many worms/insects right now), free choice. They could use more protein for sure - throwing them any meat/fish leftovers, chicken/turkey bones, etc creates a frenzy.
    60 sq.ft. coop, 500 sq.ft. run for 7 chickens and one roo. I think the worst pecking (roo bleeding from the tail) was next day after they had to spend all day in the coop.
     
    RustyBucketFarmGirl likes this.
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Puppy Dreaming

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    Going to sudden confinement, especially this time of year could cause pecking behaviors out of frustration.
     
  5. CanadaEh

    CanadaEh Songster

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    my question is why they are not laying well and if it is related to feathers loss/regrow, not why they feather pecking.
     
  6. You could put a pair of chicken goggles on your feather picker and return her to the flock.( 24 pack pinless peepers with tool, $13.00 from Amazon).
    Your rooster must heal back up and hopefully grow feather back to cover the injury before reintroducing him.
    If he is causing the hens to loose feathers while mating, i am wondering if he is to rough with the girls. Trim his spurs if he has them. If he is a roughneck rapist i would cull him. I only keep roosters that are gentelmen, and there are plenty of them. No need to keep a bad one.
    Im sure your egg production will go back up. Trama can put the girls off.
     
    starri33 likes this.
  7. Also another thought.
    Are they hiding a nest somewhere? Laying other places than the nest boxes.
    Also are you seeing any evidence of egg eating? Wet spots in the nest boxes.
    Either of these can explain your lower egg production.
     
    starri33 likes this.
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Puppy Dreaming

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    Locking them up is another thing that can cause stress and halt laying. Hens in general don't lay consistently every day, or throughout the season. Some take breaks. Production goes up and down in a flock throughout the season.
     
  9. starri33

    starri33 Crowing

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    If your girls are loosing feathers due to mating, hen saddles to protect them.
     

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