Feather plucking

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by waco76, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. waco76

    waco76 Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    May 22, 2010
    [​IMG]I bought my 8 Chickens last May. They are laying fine. Every once inwhile they take turns plucking the back feathers from each others backside. This morning I notice one of the hens had bunch of feathers missing and her backside was red. I watched for awhile and every thing seemed to be normal. This afternoon I saw all the chickens had her trap against the fence and all were pecking at her backside. When I finally got her separated, she had blood driping from the attack. I have her in a small cage in my green house. Should I put her back in the coop and run area when she heals, or what ? Any and all suggestions will be grately appriciated.

    Thank you
     
  2. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    5,312
    212
    311
    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    You need to keep her separated for it to heal some. I have read that many people will put Blu-Kote on a wound since it will turn it a purplish-blue color. It is an antiseptic so it is good for the wound as well. Once you have the wound covered you can try putting her back with the others but watch them to make sure they are not going to do it again. Main thing is they will peck at a red wound. BTW you can get Blu-Kote at most feed stores usually in the horse section and you will wind up with blue on your hands. Just no way around it. [​IMG] Good luck and:
    [​IMG]
     
  3. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    22,034
    622
    448
    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:I agree. I hope your girl heals up ok. Keep us posted.
     
  4. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    5,312
    212
    311
    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    You might also want to try to figure out why the plucking is going on. Sometimes they will feather pluck because they need more protein. I mix game bird food (it is either 20 or 22% protein) into my food so they are getting an increased amount. Sometimes it is because of cramped living conditions. Sometimes it is because of boredom from being cooped up like now in winter time. People will hang a head of cabbage in the run or coop to keep them occupied. I use a Purina Flock Block (usually available at feedstores) to keep mine amused. Hope this information helps and if none of those things could be causing the feather picking, do a search on it you will find a lot more suggestions on how to alleviate it.
     
  5. waco76

    waco76 Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    May 22, 2010
    Thanks, I will go to the feed store tomorrow. They have access to feed 24/7 and once a day I throw out several handfuls of wild bird seed. I like the idea of the hanging gabbage. All they do now is dig craters in the run. I have 8 chickens and the run is 22 feet by 12 feet. the coop is 4 feet by 6 feet and 6 feet high. Thank you for your help.

    By the way, what is the best way to hang that cabbage?
     
  6. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    5,312
    212
    311
    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    I think people drill a hole through it somehow then they put string through and hang. A drill with a long bit on it would actually probably work since cabbage is so compact but maybe someone who has done this will chime in. You might wind up with coleslaw all over the kitchen if you try that, just not sure [​IMG] BTW if you check bags of wild bird food the protein content is usually listed. I just bought mine a bag of unshelled peanuts for birds and the protein is I think 25%. I mix a couple handfuls of those to mix in with the "scratch" that I give them. I make my own scratch of whole corn and black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS). Boss is like 16% protein I think.
     
  7. TheyThinkI'mTheirMom

    TheyThinkI'mTheirMom Out Of The Brooder

    39
    0
    22
    Apr 7, 2008
    Saint Leonard, Maryland
    I hope I am not hijacking this thread, but this is a somewhat similar problem. I have six hens, and the head hen not only gives a good hard peck to keep things to her liking, she will "hump" the others just like a rooster would. While she is on top of the hen, another will come and peck the hen being humped. I personally hate to see it happen and would love to know if anyone else has this problem, and if so, what to do? Appreciate any imput. Thanks in advance.
     
  8. krazii

    krazii New Egg

    2
    0
    6
    Jan 25, 2011
    Yes your right Boss is 16% protien
     
  9. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    5,312
    212
    311
    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    TheyThinkI'mTheirMom :

    I hope I am not hijacking this thread, but this is a somewhat similar problem. I have six hens, and the head hen not only gives a good hard peck to keep things to her liking, she will "hump" the others just like a rooster would. While she is on top of the hen, another will come and peck the hen being humped. I personally hate to see it happen and would love to know if anyone else has this problem, and if so, what to do? Appreciate any imput. Thanks in advance.

    Get a rooster or just let it happen. It is all about the pecking order and as long as no one is getting hurt, you gotta let chickens be chickens. If the lead hen is starting to draw blood, you can remove her from the flock for a while to let the pecking order get reordered and then let her back in. She might not wind up at the top any more.​
     
  10. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    5,312
    212
    311
    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    Quote:Thank you krazii! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by