Feather Picking: HELP!! Getting worse!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Wolfwoman, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    I believe I have only ONE hen that is picking the topknot off my WCB Polish... I do not want to separate HIM as he is a great roo - nice to me, nice to the hens, doesn't fight with the other smaller roos, etc. because I don't want him to lose his status in the flock.

    Any ideas HOW to figure out which hen (Or maybe hens) are picking? I never see it being done. I have put BluKote and pine tar on him and it is not deterring whoever is doing it.

    I also see OCCASIONAL picking on a few other birds near the base of the tail, but nothing major.

    Suggestions?

    ETA: My roo was practically scalped clean on a nickel size area on top of his head tonight when I went to check. I put a MORE than generous portion of Pine tar on him and set him back to bed. I don't know what else to do. It's getting to cold to put him in a cage by himself PLUS the reasons I outlined above...

    HELP!! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  2. FlyingFChick

    FlyingFChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2010
    Milford, Michigan
    I also have ONE feather picker!! I DO know which one it is and unfortunately she is the best layer that I have so far. We have put her in a "time out" (Separated her for 3 days in a dog carrier) and she went right back to picking. I thought that it might knock her down a peg in the pecking order. Any other suggestions????
     
  3. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    You'll just have to observe to see. I had to separate my hen, to her own coop and run, because she was tormenting the heck out of everyone else. She's a real feather picker. She's healthy and gets plenty of protein and calicum. The rest of the flock is much happier now. They were getting so they quit laying because of her. She would chase them all over the run and in the coop. They share the same run wall so she can still see them. I didn't want to get rid of her because she's just an excellent layer. I call her JB for jail bird. [​IMG]
     
  4. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Goodness, you think you only have ONE!? Take that suspect away NOW! Chickens learn this behavior like monkey-see-monkey-do. If one sees this, the others will learn that this is acceptable and then you'll have a bigger problem. Take it from me. If it were me, I'd keep the suspect by herself for a few days and see if the situation gets worse or remains the same. Obviously, depending upon the one, you have your answer.

    I've never found Blu-kote, hot-pick, pine tar, more protein, or separation to help with any pecking, long-term. The only thing that worked was to get rid of the worst peckers. Even now, some I have still do it occasionally.
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If he's a gentleman of a roo, he could be like mine.... he puts his head and neck down to hen level and practically invites them to eat the feathers off his neck. His front is naked and he LETS the girls do it! I've caught him in the act enough times to just let them do it. He'll call his hens over, put his head down, and the girls go to town as he doesn't even flinch. I swear he turns his head so they can get every last new pin feather. The old fool is the only one with missing feathers...
     
  6. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    Quote:I don't know who it is or I would!

    I guess I'll have to sit and watch for awhile.
     
  7. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    I had to separate my Roo and did for a few days, then discovered the tail feathers missing on one of the younger roos... been picked. So, I am putting my hens in jail for a few days at a time until I notice no more picking. The pine tar and BluKote didn't work so I am at a loss of what else to do. I know which hens perch close to my roos so am starting with them. I just wish I could make them STOP! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Wendy'sChicksRock

    Wendy'sChicksRock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2010
    Oakland county ,MI
    I had this trouble too with most of my flock. They were over crowded where they were. Some one told me to add Apple cider Vinegar ( with the mother) to the water. It worked. not sure why but it did. I put a shot glass full in a 5 gallon size. tyr that and see if it helps...
     
  9. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    Interesting. I had been giving then ACV in their water until about a month ago or so... I will try it, it's good for them anyways!! They aren't too crowded and they are getting enough protein, so I haven't a clue otherwise.
     
  10. Wendy'sChicksRock

    Wendy'sChicksRock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2010
    Oakland county ,MI
    Also, went to a really cool Urban chicken lunchen today and the feed guy there said by giving them mash/crumble instead of pellets helps keeps them busy and not as likely to "pick" at eachother. He said to mix it up... pellets for a few days/scratch/mash and so on.. make them work for the food a little..
     

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