Feather picked and picker, a little advice please

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jtbrown, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2011
    Southeastern Ohio
    I have 25 12 week old EE in coop 2. We are trying to build the run, but a week off from really finishing it. It is hot, have fan, etc. They are in 12x12 area. Tonight noted one of my girls had only one tail feather. I look and her back side is bloodied, but not bad. I separated her into dog crate and have one end of it safely butted up so she can still see and be seen while she heals. I saw one of the culprits, my question is, is the culprit in need of separation too? Just in case I put an extra brooder with lid in the coop so i can quickly separate the picker or another that has been picked. I will take measure to give them more to do tomorrow. I have tried to free range 12 wk olds with my other group but this group is a bunch of well, . . . Chickens. They run back into coop with or without the other group (16 weeks) outside free ranging. So, is it likely one culprit? or once it got started, a free for all and I just happened to see one trying to get her fair share of the bloodied tail?

    Anyone with experience, please chime in, I know fault lies with them needing more space, but has never happened until tonight, so we are working ASAP to fix this but it takes time and money and I am working on it. Thanks in advance, my flock thanks you too. Poor little girl is ver flighty but as soon as I cuddled her, she relaxed and closed her eyes. Such a sweety. Also her injuries do not seem nearly as severe as some I have seen here, so I think she will be ok.
     
  2. MKingsolver

    MKingsolver Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi jtbrown, I'm going through something very similar right now, too. I have a mixed flock of 5 9wk old chicks and recently introduced a 12 wk old SLW. After 4 days, she is decent to everyone except for one of my EE's. She has a tendency to pick on only that one and has now completely plucked underneath the EE's tail. I went and bought some Rooster Booster Pick-No-More and applied it to the EE and now my SLW is finding other places to pick! They are driving me crazy!!! I finally decided to separate the SLW in a kennel inside my run and needless to say things have calmed down but I'm really at a loss right now. I would hate to rehome my SLW but it seems like she is a bully. I thought all the chasing and squawking was ok, too...until I realized blood was being drawn. They have WAY more than enough room and things to keep them busy, I just don't know what to do either.

    I sure hope you find some peace in your flock soon, too.
     
  3. ErikaSmit

    ErikaSmit Out Of The Brooder

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    I love an answer to this too! My 4 month old Sebrights rip the feathers out of my mixed 1 month old group.
     
  4. juliawitt

    juliawitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feather picking can be a sign of protein deficiency. Try mixing some game bird feed in with their normal feed. With the heat, they are drinkin more and eating less. They are not getting the full benefit of their feed. Keep picked bird isolated......give them a cabbage head to play and pick at.......Maybe someone else will have an idea.....Good Luck!
     
  5. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

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    If the problem continues you could also look into pinless peepers. If you google it you will find them. They are like "blinders" for chickens.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I think any time you can identify a bully it is probably best to isolate her for a week to drop her place in the pecking order upon return. And any time you mix different ages, other than young chicks under a month, you would be fortunte not to see this kind of violence.

    Don't forget to put something like Scat on any wound when the chicken in kept outdoors, to prevent flies from laying eggs in the wound.
     
  7. MKingsolver

    MKingsolver Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for all the helpful answers. I did separate my bully and am going to do so for about a week to see how it goes. She is currently inside a dog kennel in the run so she can be with everyone. It's probably hurting me more than her to have her "locked up." [​IMG] I have them on Purina Flock Raiser at the moment along with fresh vegetables, fruits, the occasional sweet, and of course fresh water with ACV added. I was advised to give my chicks of 8wks Flock Raiser until they start laying, should I be giving them something else instead? I've also been toying with the idea of giving them Scratch & Peck's Grower because I've heard great reviews on their feed. Anybody have any ideas?
     
  8. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys, I have the picked on separated, I am still trying find bully. I think i have it narrowed down to 2 they are identical light brown/ white EE. I think I will continue to watch, as soon as the picked on one is able to be back in the group, I will separate the two sisters who apppear to be the aggressors. No one else was bloodied the last two nights. The one little girl is lonely but only 6 inches away from her flock mates, she wants back in so badly. These EE are so skittish compared to my other mixed flock of 16 week olds. I almost feel as if I have spent more energy with the first group (my first year w chickens) but they are so much friendlier than the 12 week old EE group. I will add some game food to boost protein this weekend. If not will boil or scramble some eggs for them, little stinkers. My husband was appalled at their behavior and surprised I had a course of action to separate and deal with picker and picked on. I told him BYC is for more than pictures, I learn here daily! Thanks for answers.

    I do have one more question, how long til I put the injured one back, no scab? Smooth skin? Feathers growing back in? Last night I picked several large zucchinis out of garden cut in half to give the girls some thing different to pick at. Today went well with picking as far as I can tell. Thanks again!
     
  9. nurseshelly

    nurseshelly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2011
    Gilbert AZ
    We had a bully in our flock too, and for us, nothing worked to stop her from picking on the others, especially my SLW. We got rid of the bully, after trying all kinds of stuff, I think she was just a mean bird. Oh, also once you get your run built I think it will help because there will be more areas to stay away from the bully.

    In my case, I knew it was time to get rid of the bully because the bully hen would attack my SLW any time she saw her, even if they were completely at opposite ends of the run - like 30 feet away. If she saw my SLW, she would run over to beat on her and pursue her. It's not like normal pecking where a bird gets in another bird's space and one bird lets the other bird know to get away, and then it's over, no more pecking until the next time things get to close / or both want the same thing.
     

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