Feather Picking Emergency!!!

farmer geek

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jul 7, 2010
My hen, an Australorp, is getting really vicious. She has never made any attempt at attacking another bird before and now she is pecking all of the other hens really badly. I have found a lot of splattered blood from the pecking and the hens have a lot of bare spots. What should I do??? Also, now the other hens have started to peck each other too. Whats wrong? Can I do anything to prevent it?
Cover all injuries with bluekote, healex, bandaides, masking tape.... anything. If you have a white heat lamp, replace it with a red one. Give them some grit to chew on instead. do u have enough protein in their diet? Check that. Scramble some eggs for them to eat. Give them some greens, hang lettuce as a distraction. If u can separate chickens either being picked on or picking.
You might want to check the threads linked on the FAQ page on this subject. Usually they need more protein or more space, or both.
oh yeah. forgot to add about space- if you dont have an outdoor run i have read that 2-4 sq. feet of space are required per chicken. if you have an outdoor run only 1 sq foot of space is required *in the coop* for each chicken. not sure how accurate this is, but it is what i know. keep us updated!
I would first separate the injured ones to make sure all the wounds heal. Make sure they are healed COMPLETELY before reuniting them, because they will just start pecking again.

Then, make sure that they have something to do to avoid getting bored. Even in the winter they can get outside are get some fresh air.

Make sure that their feed is balanced and has enough protein. Insufficient nutrients can lead to pecking.
Pine tar is something else that I would recommend putting on those that have bare skin. That will keep them from pecking it into open wounds.
Thanks for your help!!! I'll try to add more protein and calcium into their diet first.
Also, is there a special way to clean small blood stains off of wood?
I culled our barred rock bc she was doing this to her 3 'friends'. She drew blood today and wouldn't stop. go to the meat birds sections, shes in there...dressed out lol

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