Feather picking-Put on the Pinless Peepers!


11 Years
Sep 19, 2008
Last night my DS and I put the pinless peepers from eggcartons.com on the chickens. I have 8 chickens and with the exception of 2 chickens, they all have bare bottoms! And the majority also have bare backs, and I have tried everything else associated with feather picking causes and this is the last resort before I re-home these chickens to a place they can free range again.
My feather picking started over the winter this year when we had heavy snow/winds and they were in the coop/run for a long stretch of time, when they were used to free ranging. This spring then, we started the garden and the farmers started the fields so I have kept them in their run and it's a Very Large run but the feather picking got Alot worse! I rehomed 6 chickens and thought the feather pickers, but it continued, so I rehomed 6 more who I thought were the culprits. Things were better for a few weeks and then it started again. They have no mites/lice, protein is good, they have Plenty of space, they are just Bored!
Soo we're trying these "peepers"! No instructions come with them, so I just went by pictures on BYC. We did not buy the tool that goes with it, you can easily stretch them out to put on, it did take 2 people though, because 1 could not stretch them and hold the chicken at the same time. I used a little stool, and I sat and held the chicken between my legs and held it's head good while my DS clamped them on. Then we let the chicken go, and the 1st try we thought we had them on but she brought her leg up and itched and the peepers flew off! But from then on, we were good! The other chickens did peck at her peepers, but once everyone had them on, that stopped. I will keep you updated on the progress, I'm hoping this solves the problem and if not I will rehome my chickens to the same people who took the rest of my flock.
Please keep us updated! My girls started in March, at first it was just a quarter size balding on the back...now I have BA's w/no feathers on their back! I have not seen any chicken picking on the others, more that they will "scratch" their own backs, etc. I totally cleaned the coop and disinfected it in April, sprayed the coop for lice/mites a couple weeks ago, and dusted the birds two nights ago with another round of spray for the coop scheduled for tonight. Next will have to be peepers. I would love to find out how it's worked for others, how long before the feathers grow back, etc. Good luck!
I had a hen who was doing it so bad 4 of my roos had no tail feathers. She ate them all!! I started feeding her the black oil sunflower seeds and upped her protein. It wasn't a quick fix. It took about a month but she is not doing it any more whatsoever. She used to chase the others around and even under the coop to get thier feathers, now she just acts normal.
I have the same problem. I thought it was too many roos. Processed 6 early this spring. Some hens started growing their feathers back, but others didn't. Then my first batch of chicks grew up and the cockerells were very active. Processed them on Mon. Things are quiet in the barn, but there are a few hens that are not allowed by other hens to be anywhere! They have a big open barn and pen to be in. I have several feeding/watering stations and they freerange almost every day when I am home. I don't really have a place to seclude the hens, but I don't know which to seclude, the bullied or the bullies. I hadn't thought of peepers. I'm anxious to hear how they work.
If the PPs work I'll be ordering 4 pair!

My little Houdan looks like Curly Joe Stooge from being pecked bald over the Winter.
Blu-Kote did nothing to discourage the pickers.
She's fine & healthy & laying nearly every day, but she looks pitiful compared to the lovely crest she had last Fall.

I have been feeding the 5 of them 2 scrambled eggs with yogurt every morning for nearly a month now & they get BOSS in their scratch (mixed 50/50 with whole oats) but the added protein hasn't kicked in yet.
Every time Misty starts to grow her crest back "somebody" picks it out!

Can she get scarred from pecking to the point where she will no longer grow feathers?

Waiting for your report, Toletique.....
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We have been having the same issue for a while. We're going to be rehoming some of the girls I know are doing it but I'm not sure if that will really get rid of the problem. We tried upping protein, which worked for a while, then pine tar, which only works if you apply it every other day, hot-pick, which didn't work at all, and blu-kote, which had the same effect as thte hot-pick (or lack of). Now it's serious so so am I. I can only hope none of our favorites are pecking. I just want this to end.
It has been 2 weeks since I put on the peepers, and I can finally see some progress! I do have 1 chicken who got hers off, and I need to put them back on, but otherwise, they have stayed on and I can see feathers popping the surface on the hens! It does nothing though to stop egg eaters but I'll be just happy to have fuzzy bottoms again!! I really think I'll have another few weeks before I see more growth of feathers but so far soo good!!!
Thanks for the update toletiques.

For a while it looked like I might not need the PPs
Misty was actually regrowing her crest and no picking to the point I could see some feathers emerging from the shafts.....
Then - BOOM! - picked clean again

She could care less, but I want to duct tape some beaks shut at night!
I know exactly what you mean, I'd have some regrowth and then the next day, it would be an even Larger Bare Spot?!?!?

I've really got to get the one chickens peepers back on though, or I'm worried all this progress will be gone instantly!!
Thanks for the update on the peepers. I guess I'll have to give it a try too. Out of 13 girls, 2 are really picked clean on their back, and 3 others have minor problems. Did you put peepers on all the girls? Did it affect their ability to free range? Thanks!

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