feather picking problem need more suggestions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TK Poultry, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    i have a trio of bantam ameraucanas and they are huge feather pickers but they only do the facial feathers and nothing else i switched the heat light type from red to white and the only thing that has accomplished is now they have started to lay in the middle of winter! i also apply vicks vapor rub to the area every other day and still not helping a whole lot i need some more suggestions
  2. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Since you're already greasing them up with the Vick's, I don't feel bad suggesting this.

    Recently I posted a home remedy for feather picking that really worked, but it left my Brahma hopelessly filthy, greasy dirty and it wouldn't wash out even with a full-on bath. But, the point is this remedy works.

    The magic ingredient is Grape flavored Kool-aid. Mix an envelope of the powder with two tablespoons Vick's and spread it onto the area that's being picked.

    The reason it works is because birds react to grape flavoring the way we mammals react to red pepper. When I first spread it onto my Brahma's bare throat, where she'd been picking out her own pin feathers as soon as they emerged for the past four months, she tasted it, and immediately tried to wipe her beak. She hasn't picked since. I also used it on the comb of another pullet who was besieged by her sisters trying to tear off her comb, making it a bloody mess. Again, instant success.

    The turpentine oil in the Vick's also is a repellent, and mixed with the Grape Kool-aid, it appears to be a winner. Cheap too.
  3. jemagsy

    jemagsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Can you give us some more details as to their living arrangements, nutrition, etc? On occasion one or the other may see something around the other's face and pick at that. Barring that there may be an environmental (boredom, not enough space) or nutritional issue. You can make the feather picking undesirable with the Vick's and Kool-aid, but try to make sure it's not a symptom of something else that needs correcting either.

    How long have the birds been feather picking? Is there any bleeding or injuries or any sign of sickness - sometimes the other birds will pick on one if they are sick or injured - this doesn't seem to be the case with yours, however you may want to check on this. When did you first notice this or has it always been a problem? And again what's their living situation like, how much sq. footage per bird and also what age are they and what type of feed are they receiving?
  4. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    the trio is in a hutch at the moment with heat because honestly im a little afraid to put them outside until spring but i thought they had plenty of room and i got them with the problem it wasnt something that started when i got them its an on going problem before they were in a tractor
  5. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    started them with the vicks/grape kool-aid mixture today already starting to see more feathers just from the vicks hope it helps and ive found the hen responsible for all this so that is a good thing i guess i have a dilema though she is one of my nicest hens and she is the only one laying and she is a picker and i want babies but i also need their muffs for the april show! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    I don't know if this is the case here, but sometimes feather picking can be a sign that they aren't getting enough protein. You could try giving them some higher protein snacks and see if that helps. I would think it would show up in other areas besides their face, but it's worth a shot.
  7. pigfarmer

    pigfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 28, 2010
    Central Maine
    Good post, I will try this with my affected birds


    I will post results later
  8. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I don't know if this is an option, but you could try seperating the offender for several days. Maybe this would knock her down the pecking order enough to shake things up. Good luck

  9. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Quote:I think jemagsy has the right idea--you need to figure out WHY they are feather-picking. You didn't give any details of their coop and run space, but if they are living in a "hutch" (do they get out at all?) that sounds really tight and a bit boring. I can't imagine you will get a handle on this until they have enough room and some outside time. Also adding white light is going to make the problem worse--they should not have any extra light at all (are they indoors?)
  10. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    they are indoors until spring, then they have a run with their name on it because ive built one it just this is a bit closer to their previous living conditions and i feel better when they are in the garage and it is really cold outside our temp fluxuates soo much and they werent out in it before and i didnt want to give them a huge shock to the system....so im just going to put up with it i guess until spring! i seperated a show hen and she is growing a beard back so all is well im just waiting it out!

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