first signs of cannibalism

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jack142, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Jack142

    Jack142 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2010
    Bennett
    howdy gang,

    we have 3 buff orps and they are pecking the heck out of the other birds. The campiens are bald at the back end of thier tails. Wife watched the buffs eating the feathers.
    The buffs are the largest birds in a flock of 12. Wife thinks we should be eating some fresh chicken soon. Then get some different birds in the spring. Shes thinking about getting some more dominiques. We dont have a rooster. maybe we should.
    MY Question: Is this considered cannibalism and if so what starts this ?
    We keep a red light on, and the coop is more than large enough, its 96 sq ft for 12 birds. There is always plenty of food and water, and they go into a run every nice day.
    We had snow yesterday so the wife sat in the coop with them, thats when she observed the Buff orps pecking everybody.
    take care
    Jack
     
  2. knjinnm

    knjinnm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 5, 2010
    Sandia Park, NM
    Quote:Hi jack,
    What are you feeding your girls? What is the protein content? Do they have plenty of oyster shell or other grit with calcium?
    Joe
     
  3. Jack142

    Jack142 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2010
    Bennett
    Howdy Joe,

    we have oyster shell and layer mash. wife puts the oyster shell in with the mash. Also have sunflower seeds and scratch grain every day. No grit lately, we gotta get some more.
    Maybe we should put some more oyster shell down.
    I dont know the exact protein content. Whatever is in the layer mash that we buy from teh feed store.
    take care
    Jack
     
  4. knjinnm

    knjinnm Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,273
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    Oct 5, 2010
    Sandia Park, NM
    Hi Jack,
    Check your feed bag, make sure the girls are getting 18+% protein and plenty of calcium grit.
    Joe
     
  5. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    If the run is adequately secure, why not allow them to choose if they want to go outside every day? Even in the rain. Some times my dog just wants to run around, snow, mud, hail or sun. I know my birds want to go out every day, regardless of the weather. I'd say cabin fever is an issue.
     
  6. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aside from the protein possibility, that red light might be a contributor. Seems the red color attracts them just as blood does. Before they get to drawing blood, treat the bare areas with Blu Cote, or get into mammas cosmetics and rub some Noxema on the bare spots. Good luck..........Pop
     
  7. Jack142

    Jack142 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2010
    Bennett
    howdy,

    They are usually out everyday in the run, we had a good size snow storm yesterday, which is why they were in the coop. I will get some blu cote at the feed store tonight and put it on the bare spots. From what I have read on raising chickens, a red light is suppose to reduce packing and cannibalism.
    Did I read wrong ?
    thanks
    Jack
     
  8. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Maybe they're bored?
     
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    The two biggest causes for pecking and feather eating is lack of adequate protein and boredom.

    Feathers are high in protein.

    Try not to feed too much corn or scratch or treats, because that really cuts down on the proportion of protein in their diet. Treats and such should be no more than 10% of their total diet.

    Maybe hike up the protein, some cat food mayb or a can or two of tuna now and then, and give them some BOSS (Black Oil Sunflower Seed) which is higher in protein than scratch or corn; the oils in it help promote feather growth.
     
  10. laturcotte1

    laturcotte1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2010
    Every once in a while I will see a chicken eat a feather or two. I only have 3 hens and 1 roo but they have all done this.

    For food they have 24/7 16% poultry grain, millet and black oil sunflower seed in a separate bowl. Every night they get canned whole kernal corn. Once a week they will get chopped fruit of some sort or a meat like keibasa or hot dogs. In a separate bowl they have oyster shell. They go in their run everyday and free range 5 days a week, snow permitting. These chickens are sooo spoiled, but still eat the feathers.

    The 2 guinea boys are more particular they live with the chickens and they have 24/7 turkey grain offerd to them but can eat whatever the chickens eat. they however dont like any of the meat and I've never seen them eat a feather.
     

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