featherpicking

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by farrider387, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. farrider387

    farrider387 New Egg

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    Jan 28, 2007
    I have 16 pullets, 23 weeks old,starting to lay. They have more than sufficient room and nests,constant food and water supply,access to outdoors for 12 hrs. daily, 14 hrs. of light [40 watt bulb in a 6 x 12 coop] daily,[lighting was brought up gradually starting at 18 weeks to 14hrs. at 22 weeks. In the last week or 10 days I noticed that 3 of my RIR's are getting bald spots on their backs at the junction of the tail and back feathers. Several of my barred rocks are picking at these three. I have lowered the wattage of the lighting[to 20 watts] turned off the heat [a red heat bulb].They have a constant supply of feed[recently switched from grower to layer] and water. I keep it very clean in the coop. They also get 2 lbs. of scratch grains daily[1/2 in morning in the yard,1/2 in late afternoon in the coop] Is there anything I can apply to the bare patches on my birds before someone draws blood? Is there anything else I can do to deter this bad behavior short of removing the offenders?
     
  2. soonerdog

    soonerdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have had a few feather pickers before. The best thing I've found was to get rid of them. I was always afraid the few would teach the others to do the same. Then everyone of them would be feather picking. I always culled them from my flocks. Once they start it is very difficult to get them to stop. Maybe others who have weathered the storm with this difficult issue could elaborate better than myself. I did not weather the storm with my feather pickers I culled them from my flock. Johnny
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  3. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  4. SandraChick

    SandraChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Black Oil Sunflower seeds have melathione (sp). Feather picking can be a sign that they are low in this nutrient.

    I'd also increase protein

    Turn off the WHITE light
    --Or depending on your set up---if you put the light on a timer to come on in the morning instead of extending their evening---I've heard that can help with negative behavioral problems.

    Sometimes- taking the culprits out of the flock for a couple of days can help too.

    Putting blukote on the bare areas, or even pine tar...will keep them from continuing to peck there.


    Good luck
    Sandra
     
  5. farrider387

    farrider387 New Egg

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    Jan 28, 2007
    Thanks for the advice. I've been using blue kote for approx. 10 days with no noticeable change. Will start using pine tar today. If that dont work, culling is my last resort.I dont have the facilities to separate the birds. My next problem is id'ing the culprits. Thanks in advance for any additional advice.
     

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