Feather Plucking *HELP* UPDATE


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13 Years
Jun 28, 2009
One of my lower ranked hens is being plucked by other hens. She is an Americana so she has 1 of the things at the side of her head off. They also are pecking at her back so its bleeding a little. Should i keep her away from the other hens? HELP
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I'd sepertate her for now and get some blu-kote to put on the damaged areas. How many chickens do you have? How big is your coop/run? What breeds and how old? What are you feeding them? Can you tell if it's just one or two bullies or is it the whole flock?
At the moment i cant seperate her
6 chickens
small coop( bigger than an eglu)
Ameraucana's almost 1 year
regular TSC food
I think it's 3 of them
What are the dimensions of your coop and do they have access to a run? Right now it sounds like an overcrowding issue. If that is the case you need to thin your flock asap. When they are crowded they will turn cannabilistic, that is why the commercial opperations de-beak their birds. I've heard of people using pinless peepers to help with pecking, but don't have any experience with them myself.
i dont know the dimensions but i think its like 8x4.
They do have access to a run but it is closed when we leave
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Separating her would be a big help - do you even have a dog or cat crate you could keep her in for awhile? Putting Blue Kote, Hot Pick, and/or Pine Tar on the picked spot can help; Pine Tar is gross stuff but is the most effective. Also adding AviaCharge to their water, in case it's a nutrition problem. But when I have had this problem in my flock, boredom and delinquency seemed to be the root causes. Once I separated the bully hen and let everyone else free range a few hours a day, the problem was solved. Picking also tends to escalate, which is why separating the picked chicken is important. She needs time to heal, and the other chickens need time to forget about picking on her and find other ways to occupy their little brains.
One other way to help with boredom: throw a cabbage or aluminum pie dish in their coop. They'll peck at it for awhile instead of each other.
i have a crate but thats a little small..........................................................................................................................
Your coop size would be fine if they had access to a decent size run too, but it's way to small for a full time living space. You could try the cabbage, but in your case I don't think it will be enough. If you can't get them more room or downsize your flock (by about 1/2) I think you will end up having some of your lower ranking girls pecked to death. When they finish off this one they'll likely pick another target.
I know this is not what you want to hear, but it is what I believe will happen unless you change some things.
and good luck.

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