Feather picking

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by skinnyboy, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. skinnyboy

    skinnyboy Hatching

    Jul 28, 2013
    I'm running into a feather picking problem that I can't seem to get a hold on. I currently have 11 birds all of the same age but different breeds. Several months ago they began to pick at each other during a molt. Since then they have continued to do so. They live in a pretty large open area about 24' x 20' during the day and get locked up after dark each night in a coop. All birds have feathers picked off the top of the lower back, area under their vent and breast area. . Since I have noticed that the picking has become a problem I have done the following: picked up a seed block to encourage good pecking in the early morning before they are let out of their coop, used blu-kote on featherless spots to discourage pecking and have been spreading seeds amongst the grass clippings and leaves to keep them busy during the day. Nothing seems to be working. Des anyone else have any ideas? I'm at a loss and I'm afraid the picking is going to turn into dead birds soon.
  2. Messipaw

    Messipaw Songster

    Apr 3, 2013
    Oh I'm so sorry. Could it be a lack of protein? Have you tried giving them protein snacks.
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Would you like to see my own research and experience on the subject of feather picking? https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/697052/i-think-i-found-a-miracle-cure-for-feather-picking

    I've been meaning to post an update to the thread, which turned out to run 30 pages over its life span. In short, I tried everything, from diet to devices on their beaks and eyes. NOTHING has worked.

    About all you can hope for is to try this thing one week, then another after that, and still something else when that previous thing fails. What you do have working in your favor is a chicken's ability to forget over time why she is behaving the way she is. You have to interrupt the behavior somehow or other to give her time to forget. How long it'll be before she resumes the bad behavior is an unknown, or she might reform for good, but that, in my experience is highly unlikely.

    Read the thread for some things you can try, but understand, nothing is likely to last. Good luck. And I sincerely mean that.

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