Feather plucking

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rachy, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Rachy

    Rachy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My broody hen is bald. The feather plucker culprit has been identified. She sits and plucks the feathers out of the broody as she sits on her eggs.
    I've discovered she also follows the other hens into the coop, when they lay their eggs and does it to them too.

    Ha anyone had experience of this. The usual remedies drew a blank.
    They are completely free range, there is no excuse of boredom, lack of protein or any of the usual reasons for this behaviour.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  2. Shellz

    Shellz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Interesting, yes I have & just recently too. I have a small hen in the flock that liked to pick on this one lowly roo. He ended up with a bald spot on front of his neck. I had 3 roos to 10 hens, & the 2 RIR boys were becoming problematic. Finally did those buggers in. So now I'm guessing she'll straighten out or be part of my next cull in spring. Best to just cull your problem birds, if you can afford to. Just my 2 cents!

    Perhaps I could be swayed to change my mind, if someone offered some other advice?
     
  3. Rachy

    Rachy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Shellz. Good to know someone else has this conundrum, though obviously it's not good, if you know what I mean!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  4. Shellz

    Shellz Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's just my spin on it. I'd wait to hear what others have to say. I'm sure there are others that have or had this problem.
    I remember a beautiful SG Dorking cockerel I had last year with that problem too. Excellent forager, I just didn't understand his problem. He would just grab any bird in the flock & rip out a patch of feathers and eat them! Got tired of the shenanigans & didn't make my breeding program. Became part of my meat flock.
     
  5. Rachy

    Rachy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will. I'm sorry to her you've had this before
    I've never encountered this before, I cant understand her reasoning for it, unless she thinks it's her house!
    I am interested to see what other people think.
     
  6. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Unfortunately, I'd cull her too. You already listed off what I'd recommend checking (boredom, protein, space), so its probably a bad habit she's developed :/
    Nikki
     
  7. Rachy

    Rachy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Nikki. I appreciate your thoughts x
     
  8. meemnum1

    meemnum1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a six month old wyandotte whose neck is constantly growing back feathers. Since this is my first time ever raising chickens and she hasn't laid yet, I thought that she was molting. Well today I saw my barred rock plucking her neck. My wyandotte is usually bossy with the other girls and she was just letting it happen. Is that normal?
     
  9. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Most chicken usually don't moult until their second fall, for what its worth. The BR may have bested her and assumed a higher place in the pecking order, and some birds let all that power go to their heads. *I* would remove the plucker to a place she can't be seen by the flock until your Wyandottes feathers have completely grown back in. When you add the Rock back in with your other birds she should be at the bottom of the pecking order and her bad habit should've ceased. If she starts back up, you may consider some other underlying issue (lack of space, protein or even just plain boredom). Good luck!
     
  10. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Mine don't peck or such but when my frizzle moulted (in her first year too btw) and there were feathers everywhere my young pullets went around eating them off the ground like sweets. I also feed good food and free range them yet after giving them scrambled eggs for a few days to increase their protien the behaviour stopped. Go figure.

    Can you either seperate her and the broody or spray the broody with some no pick spray?

    It does sound like its now become a bad habit though and is going to be hard to break.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013

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