Feather pecking/eating... Still need help!!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Clay In Iowa, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 9 standards in a 12x12 coop. And they are pecking each others backs bare. One hen in particular is pecking and eating feathers. Other than cat food is there anything I can try to stop this behavior.

    Wouldn't you know it the hen in question is my 4 year olds favorite.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
  2. hoosiersphynx

    hoosiersphynx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Go to TSC and get some Pine Tar ($6.99) and put it where the missing feathers are. It has a very bad taste and they will try it once and then stop. I was having the same problem and I used Pine Tar and I have not seen any pecking since! I hope it works for you!
    Rebecca
     
  3. omelette'smom

    omelette'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What does it mean when they peck and actually EAT the feathers?
     
  4. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks hoosiersphynx

    Where abouts in Indiana are you???

    I'm a Hoosier by birth.. Boilermaker by the grace of God. [​IMG]
     
  5. animal nut

    animal nut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had the same problem last week. MY co-op feed store told me to put hot sauce and cayene pepper on the chick. I haven't tried it yet but I plan to. They told my daughter it was a lack of protien that was making them peck. I don't know how this would happen as they are feed a high protien layer and free range daily.
     
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    In addition to the protein thing, some folks here have claimed to have good luck with Vicks Vapo Rub, Clay (bad taste). I haven't tried any, luck so far, but I'll get a moult by September, I'm sure. I keep blue lotion on hand. I find my hens are nutso just now with the sunlight increasing, and SO loud! My meekest hen is sick of it and going after everyone, and my noisiest is worse than a rooster.
     
  7. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Near Wilton Iowa
    Thanks LynneP the Vicks Vapo Rub seems to be helping. I had to corner the affected chickens which gave me a good close look at the damage. Much worse than I thought.

    I looked for pine tar but had no luck. Is it a poultry item?? Or is it a Tack (Horse) item??

    I need to get on this very quickly 4 of my 9 birds are close to bloody raw. I'm afraid what will happen when they do draw blood.
     
  8. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Hi Clay - it could be lack of protein but it's more likely boredom and too confined. Is there a way you could let them out to free range some each day - or build a penned area that they could be moved to each day so they can scratch for bugs and eat grass? If not, try tossing black oil sunflower seeds in their run and maybe hay or something they have to scratch through to get to them. Others have posted success with hanging cabbages for them to peck at. Anything to keep them occupied and off one another.
     
  9. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 9, 2008
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    Thanks Ruth,

    I'm working on a 1,000 foot run as fast as I can. I don't want to let them out just yet they've only been in the new coop for about 5 days. I'll try the cabbage, some cat food, black oils seeds and a dancing bear if it will help.
     
  10. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    If they've only been in the new coop for 5 days it could be a combination of stress from the move and establishing a new "pecking order" for the new place.

    Keep them occupied with lots of stuff to shred, tear up, and peck at.
     

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