Feather Picking by Easter Egger: How to Stop??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Cynthia707, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. Cynthia707

    Cynthia707 Out Of The Brooder

    20
    1
    26
    Jul 28, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    One of my EE girls started feather picking about 6 months ago. For awhile it was just her own back and was limited, so I let it go. Now she's started picking at her "mate", the new alpha hen, another EE. They are inseparable, and I have watched several times now while Sybil (the pickee) sits down on the ground and lets Winnie (the picker) go at her back. It's almost like she likes it, and at first (before I realized what was going on), I thought it was an act of affection. Now both hens look really rough.

    I first tried supplementing their diet with more protein, but it didn't make a difference. Right now both girls are wearing capes. Is there a way to stop this behavior altogether?

    We had a predator attack three weeks ago, and both my former alpha and beta hens were killed in front of the other girls by either a fox or coyote. I know they are stressed, and my RIR has even stopped laying and has attacked me a few times. I think the picking is worse because of the stress.

    Any advice would be helpful, thank you! Both of these girls have such pretty feathers, it's awful to see them so raggedy.

    Also-- do I need to pull out the broken feathers so that new ones grow in?

    Thank you!

    p.s. The culprit is in the background and Sybil (the pickee) in front.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    34,025
    470
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  3. Nkraft

    Nkraft Out Of The Brooder

    29
    0
    24
    Jul 31, 2014
    Vandalia, Missouri
    Before spending a lot of time or money, try pitting 7 dust on them, i jad the same issue with my hens, but it turned oit to be mites, if she was pecking herself and its not a protein thing, then thats likely the culprit, and honestly, watch the hen that keeps attacking you, see if she is feeding like she is supposed to, and if she keeps it up, try going to MFA, or another feed store and get 16% protein, if it keeps up hang cabbage, or set a pumpkin inside to put their aggression out on.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    34,025
    470
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    That's not a bad idea, Nkraft. I assume you mean Sevin 5% garden dust. I use it, too.
     
  5. Nkraft

    Nkraft Out Of The Brooder

    29
    0
    24
    Jul 31, 2014
    Vandalia, Missouri
    Yep, i had the same problem with my hens and thats how i fixed it.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by