Help 3 of my chickens are having their tail feathers plucked out

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Ellichicks, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. Ellichicks

    Ellichicks New Egg

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    Feb 5, 2017
    I'm new to chickens and I have 7 12 week old chickens, 2 buffs, 2 Easter Eggers, 2 cream legbars and one silkie. I've noticed my 2 cream legbars and 1 Easter eggers have had some of their tail feathers plucked out. I suspect my larger Easter egger is the one causing all of the problems. I've seen it peck birds on their back hard and my cream legbars run from it. However, I think the buffs are at the top of the pecking order and can't say they aren't responsible either, I know they like to eat feathers. I have my chicks on the medicated chick starter food. Do you think my big Easter egger is a roo? Also how do I stop this from happening? I don't want them to start cannibalizing each other
     
  2. Ellichicks

    Ellichicks New Egg

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    [​IMG]
     
  3. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    those both look female to me, how old are they? you may want to switch to a higher protein feed (like feather fixer) to help with the feather plucking behavior

    or add some other protein type, like tuna or some other meat (chickens LOVE meat)
     
  4. Ellichicks

    Ellichicks New Egg

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    They're 12 weeks. I'll add some protein right now. Thanks. How do I stop the feathers from being pulled out? Other than protein is there anything I need to do to help the birds that are being plucked?
     
  5. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

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    not really, maybe some peepers

    [​IMG]
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Give them some diversion: hang a cabbage from a string, give them some hay bales to play on and between. If your run is covered, give them some perches. Turn your run into a deep litter run (a minimum of 6"). If you are giving them scratch, or table scraps, stop giving them. Animal protein is best. Give them some foraging beds.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How big is that enclosure?
    They need space to get away from each other as they play the pecking order.

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds.
     
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