Help a very stressed chicken owner.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Amerraucana101, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Amerraucana101

    Amerraucana101 In the Brooder

    May 21, 2012
    Hi all I have a 16 by 8 run with sand on the ground. Also I have an 8 by 4 house for my 14 chickens to go in at night. I am very new to chickens. I have had my 14 birds for 10 months and now I am finding diseases.

    To start out all of my 14 birds have their backs bare because they all peck at each other. I have tried Rooster Booster it helps for a day then they just eat it or sand gets all over it and I don’t have the time to do it to all 14 bird ever day either. They also eat feathers and I hate seeing this.

    As well at I think that me birds have leg mites I have tried Vaseline but the birds just eat it off or the sand get all over it. I also bleached there house down with soap and water and I scrubbed it all down also I clean out there nesting boxes ever time it needs more shavings which is ones a week.

    One more thing some of my birds have a hard core of their foot and it is like had poop and sand and other stuff on it I don’t know what to do about it.

    I love my birds I just don’t know what to do and it is very stress full. Can someone please help me?

  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member 9 Years

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I'm not so sure an 8x4 coop is big enough to house 14 grown chickens. It might be time to expand and give them roosting room, otherwise picking and pecking will continue. There could also be a lack of enough protein in their diet causing picking/pecking, and eating feathers usually indicates a need for extra protein. Give them gamebird feed for about a month, that should cut down on the picking/pecking and stopping feather eating, but expand the coop as well.
    Keep everything as dry as possible. Use sevin dust or DE inside the coop to deter/kill mites and lice, dust nests as well. A light sprinkling of sevin dust will do the trick. Use Nu-Stock for treating scaly leg mites, lather it on their legs and feet liberally, do the roosts as well.
    The "hard core" you describe could be bumblefoot. It's a round, dark in color scab normally found on the bottom of the footpad. It will require minor surgery to remove the infection. Use the search box and type in "bumblefoot." There are many many threads regarding treatment for bumblefoot.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  3. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Um, yeah. You have them a bit overcrowded. I've read the recommendations of at least 10 square feet per bird in the run but more is better, that's just a minimum guideline. What you have is more lik 9 square ft per bird and what you're describing is what often happens when they are overcrowded.

    Dawg has recommended just exactly what you should do above.
  4. mickey328

    mickey328 Songster

    May 4, 2012
    Northern Colorado
    You'll want about 4 sq ft per bird in the coop (10 sq ft in the run) so you might consider doubling the size of the coop. We have just over 3 ft per bird, and do see a bit of pecking and picking. We're looking at expanding one side of ours to give them more space in there. Blu Kote can covers the bald spots. That red and/or bleeding skin is like a siren to them and makes them peck and pick even more. You might also try giving them some raw beef...sometimes that can help calm the bloodlust a bit, but I think the most important thing is, as Dawg said, enlarge their indoor space :)

  5. Amerraucana101

    Amerraucana101 In the Brooder

    May 21, 2012
    Wow thank you all SOOOOOOO much for all the help I will go buy some game bird feed. I am building another coop for 4 chicks I have. So I will make it big enough so I can add 1-2 birds in there and I hope that will calms things down.

    Thanks again!!!!!
  6. new 2 pfowl

    new 2 pfowl Crowing 6 Years

    Jan 13, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    Excuse me for jumping in here - I don't know about chickens! But I do know that one cause of bumbefoot is perches that are too smooth.
  7. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing 8 Years

    Oct 24, 2009
    Your housing for your chickens is a little too small. How many roosters do you have? What do you feed them?

    The case of the bad feet is probable due to incorrect perches. I would go out and find some thick natural branches to use for them to roost on - they are much better for their feet. Also keep the run dry and clean helps.

    Can you let your chickens out to free range? I think that would help them stop pulling the feathers, as they often do this is they are bored. Or you could add things into the run like hanging cabbages, stuff to fly on and perch on, some tree stumps, rocks, sand bath, etc.

    For the scaly mites I found this helped.......
    1. Wash all their feet and legs by dipping them into warm water with some dog flea shampoo. Scrub the legs gently with a old tooth brush to get the dirt off.
    2. Dry the legs
    3. Dip the legs in some cooking oil. (this will smother the mites and the birds can't eat it off).

    You need to repeat this a couple more times - about once every week. Then the mites should be dead - but he legs will take a month or 2 before they look better. Once the legs are looking good I like to do the above treatment one last time just to make sure.

    Good luck with you birds.

  8. Tam E

    Tam E Hatching

    Apr 15, 2012
    I agree with dawg also. I have 8 girls in a 5 by 8 coop and a 8 by 19 run. I also let them out to free range for about an hour or so in the evening. If they are bored they may pick on each other maybe you could try a busy block or hang a cabbage head for them to peck. Good luck.
  9. Amerraucana101

    Amerraucana101 In the Brooder

    May 21, 2012
    I do not have any roosters and I feed them the Purina Layena Sunfresh Recipe, Pellets. Sadly I cannot let my chickens free range. I have two hawks that stay around, they stay right by the chicken coop at around 6:00pm I also have a lot of fox’s and other pest around here. I thought about getting chicken saddles so they can’t pick out any feathers but I still need to build another coop for some of the birds. Thanks for all the great information!!!

  10. Amerraucana101

    Amerraucana101 In the Brooder

    May 21, 2012
    Thanks for the help I will have to try that.

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