Feather Picking & Chicken Psychology 101...Come on in *Pics*

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Cetawin, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Okay here we go. My light brahma has been losing feathers on her legs off and on for the last week. I was watching then like a hawk to try to find the culprit but notta. So, I cleaned her legs with warm water and antibacterial soap (which she loved), dried her well and then put triple antibiotic ointment on it. So, we have no infections but today, she has 1 feather left and her legs had been attacked.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So, off I run to get a bottle of blu-kote. Theory...clean the leg, put medicine on it and something to keep the red from showing to avoid the picking.

    I put the blu-kote on her (which by the way I forgot to wear gloves hence I am wearing blu-kote fingers now), she sat out in the living room in the lap of luxury (mine) and dried.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So an hour goes by and she has had the princess treatment and I take her back to the brooder. In she goes and instantly all five of the other girls charge her, attack her legs and feet like the blu-kote was not even there! I snatched her up and brought her back to the living room and pondered what to do. Why? Here was the problem as I saw it...

    Lilly has feathered feet, yes but she is also head honcho in the brooder. Yet when I put her back in the brooder they all attacked. So, I tried to think like a chicken and came up with 2 plans...

    1. Sit there and watch at the ready to shoo away anyone trying to pick at her or

    2. put blu-kote on everybody [​IMG] The thought...everyone would have blu on the legs and therefore leave everyone else alone.


    So, I put her back and did constant shooing and the attacks continued. In about 30 minutes of shooing, the pecking became less and it was down to the ocassional peck here and there and everyone seemed to get bored with it.

    During this, Maggie, the NHR who was once head honcho appeared to have tried to take over number 1 spot again...so we will see how it goes now that Lilly is in there again.

    If I see any more picking in the morning when I check them for breakfast EVERYONE gets blu-kote on the legs and see if that helps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  2. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Whatever you do, stop it NOW!! I have a coop full of bare backed hens because I can't get them to stop. I'm afraid I'm going to have to take the 5 red sexlinks out but then they all have the habit now so I'm not sure it will help. I'm trying to get ready to put 6 new birds in there so I let them out of the run together yesterday and sprayed all the new kids with hot pick. Maybe if they know they don't taste good from the very get go, they'll leave them alone.
     
  3. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Oh this will be nipped in the bud. I think at about 10 weeks old they realized those feathers on her legs were fun to pull. We will see what happens in the morning...if she has been pecked at, they all will have blu legs by noon. But so far all is quiet and I am pulling a late night up with the kid so I will be monitoring them.

    Your hens' backs are pecked? Do you have a roo around? A rough roo will pull the feathers and hurt their backs like that too.
     
  4. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Blu-Kote did not work for me. Nothing has worked. No, I don't have a roo in with them. I'm going to add one in hopes that he can kick a little pullet butt and get them to stop. Unfortunately the one I want to add is a wuz. He's a big black orp but even his hens push him around. If they don't stop put something gel like on her. Like axle grease I've been told works really well. However, I find the thought of axle and dust bathing just gross. I'm wondering how aloe vera would work, anybody try that?
     
  5. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    I have tried aloe vera gel, antibiotic oinment and the problem is that it gets rubbed off on the wings when they stretch, on the shavings and such...bandages were worse because she picked at those to pull them off.

    So far so good...everyone is roosting, quiet and no more picking since the ruckus this afternoon. So I am [​IMG]
     
  6. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2008
    Mooresville, NC
    Well, best of luck to you! Hopefully everyone is calm this morning! [​IMG]
     
  7. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    so far so good...still roosting quietly with no scuffles. [​IMG]
     
  8. RobinEgg

    RobinEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    bless her little heart , maybe they are just jealous of her beautiful feathered legs .
     
  9. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Our hens are all picked horribly and have bare backs and bright red butts. It's a combination of the rooster and the other hens picking on each other, sometimes until they bleed. Will this Blu-Kote stuff help? Willing to try anything; they look absolutely ugly and I'm sure they are miserable.
     
  10. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Blu-Kote didn't work for me and my chickens look like you discribed, and I don't have a roo. Do you have red sexlinks? or RIR in there?
     

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