Feather Plucking..

tmcdonald226

In the Brooder
Jun 9, 2020
37
50
46
I have noticed one of my EE is being pecked on more than others. The other hens are plucking her tail feathers out. I picked her up to check her and the area missing feathers is crusty and red. All my hens are 16 weeks old. What can I do or apply to her area?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
Jul 16, 2015
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Wisconsin
Generally feather plucking is from boredom and crowding, or a protein deficiency. There are no pick topical sprays. You will need to find out why they are doing, or else it will continue, and it could lead to cannibalism.
 

lysmandor

Songster
Mar 26, 2020
142
218
111
Lansing, NY
Make sure if there is blood that you separate them since a chicken will kill another if they smell blood.
They're not really smelling the blood (they're not sharks!) but they do like to pick at red spots (that's why feeders and waterers are often red) - so if you're having a pecking problem the victim might need to be separated temporarily to allow healing, even if that's in a cage in the coop. Do you have a picture of the spot? Small cuts should heal well if they're left alone.

But yes, figuring out the management that is causing the picking is the most important thing. How many chickens do you have? What is your coop/run set up? What are they fed currently?
 

tmcdonald226

In the Brooder
Jun 9, 2020
37
50
46
They're not really smelling the blood (they're not sharks!) but they do like to pick at red spots (that's why feeders and waterers are often red) - so if you're having a pecking problem the victim might need to be separated temporarily to allow healing, even if that's in a cage in the coop. Do you have a picture of the spot? Small cuts should heal well if they're left alone.

But yes, figuring out the management that is causing the picking is the most important thing. How many chickens do you have? What is your coop/run set up? What are they fed currently?
I have 1 rooster and 10 hens all are the same age and run is 10x12. They are still on chick starter feed with scratch and veggies given alittle each day as a treat. It seems to be just my leghorns that are pecking on others. They have plenty of toys, and things to roost on.
 

lysmandor

Songster
Mar 26, 2020
142
218
111
Lansing, NY
Is there one instigator? Or if there's only one who is a victim, you can try keeping her separate until she heals (ideally still within view of the flock) and then reintroducing here - maybe there was a small injury that everyone started pecking at, and things got out of hand?
 

tmcdonald226

In the Brooder
Jun 9, 2020
37
50
46
Yes it seems to be 1 leghorn then the other leghorns follow... they have attacked my most friendly EE I have so it seems they are bullying her. I have her separated and she hasn't made a peep, so im hoping she can heal and rejoin her siblings
 

tmcdonald226

In the Brooder
Jun 9, 2020
37
50
46
After observing more, yes 1 leghorn is the culprit. What can I do to make her stop? She only does it to the EE not other leghorns.
 

tmcdonald226

In the Brooder
Jun 9, 2020
37
50
46
Is there one instigator? Or if there's only one who is a victim, you can try keeping her separate until she heals (ideally still within view of the flock) and then reintroducing here - maybe there was a small injury that everyone started pecking at, and things got out of hand?
After observing more, yes 1 leghorn is the culprit. What can I do to make her stop? She only does it to the EE not other leghorns.

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