Feather pickers

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by merryreader, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. merryreader

    merryreader Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am so tired of the chickens picking feathers. My hens look a mess. They should be fluffy , puffy hens, instead they look terrible! Even the rooster is getting his neck and butt picked. I have 12 hens and a rooster, all about 1 year old. 1 week ago I let them free range on over 2 acres. They STILL pick feathers! I spray blucoat 2x a week and spray no pick on certain spots(rooster's neck). I think they may have just got into the "habit" and I am afraid it will never stop. The hens have bare butts and bare backs.Not all though. There are 3 that don't get picked at all. I've seen some that are picked, pick others. What I need to know is ,will this eventually go away? I've never had hens do this, but I've always had bantums. These are larger mixes. Will they eventually lose interest? Merry
     
  2. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Merry, does your flock have plenty of room?

    If that is not a problem, then it could be something like not enough protein in their diet. Feathers are made up of mostly protein and the birds may have figured that out. Add more protein and that may solve the problem....or their is a depluming mite and keeping the coop mite free is also a concern.

    bigzio
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2007
  3. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Also, if you have a light on at night in their coop that is sometimes the problem. If it is for heat, try switching to a ceramic heat bulb. If it is to extend their daylight hours, try putting the light on a timer so that it is only on in the evening or morning, not all night.

    chel
     
  4. merryreader

    merryreader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for your response. I don't have a light on at night. As far as protein, I've been giving them over the last 5 months cat food,oyster shells, broccoli other greens and many other house hold "treats". I give them layer pellets at free will and get 7- 11 eggs(with hard shells) a day.Now they are all over the place picking up bugs, worms etc. The back yard is full of interesting places(>2 acres). I did put some poultry dust in the hen house, on the roosts etc and in the crevices. I put some in where they dust. I need to spray the rooster again with blucoat. Also at the top base of their tail is their oil gland, right? Can I damage it by spraying with blucoat? Thanks again. NOT SO [​IMG] Merry !!
     
  5. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Merry, Blu Kote is a antiseptic and not ment for the treatment of vermin like mites.It is for treating open wounds.

    I dust my coop with 5% sevin dust ( carbaryl ) that is found in most garden and farm stores. It takes care of mites of all kinds. I use a garden duster to get the job done, with great results.

    Favorite dusting holes work well to add the dust to, allowing the chickens to dust themselves. Hope this helps.

    bigzio
     
  6. merryreader

    merryreader Chillin' With My Peeps

    I put blucoat on their raw picked spots. I put poultry dust in their dusting spots this am. If that is the problem I hope it works. Merry
     
  7. Jakenhoss

    Jakenhoss Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a roo that has been getting his bum picked constantly. Yesterday the girls picked at it so much that he was very bloody which developed into more picking. I cleaned him up and when it was time for bed, the girls started in again. My question is; is it safe to put blucoat on his bum? As long as the girls keep pecking on him he will never be able to grow his tail feathers. But my main concern is the picking/pecking his bum. Does anyone have some help for me?
     
  8. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Yep...no problem applying the blucoat. They won't stop as long as there is blood visible. You might need to isolate the bird till it's healed...birds can be relentless when it comes to this.

    bigz
     
  9. Jakenhoss

    Jakenhoss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for your help. I've moved my question over to managing your flock. I did put blucoat on him yesterday but to no avail. The girls, with blue beaks, just continue to pick at him. I am going to try to use a bandana over his bum area and see if that helps. I can isolate him in the pen, but when he is out in the yard foraging the girls find him and start pecking at their leisure.His bum is swollen and VERY red, I can see where the new feathers are trying to come in and I understand that those feathers are full of blood so maybe covering it will help. (?)
    I really don't want to keep him locked up because I don't think it's fair that all the others come out and he can't. I'm at a loss on what to do for my poor Roo Roo. I'm thinking the girls have now developed a habit of this pecking and it will unfortunately be a hard one to break. Thanks again and I'll check back to see if there is anymore info available.
     

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