Help Cannibalism!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by amainehenhouse, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. amainehenhouse

    amainehenhouse Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 6, 2008
    I have 18 hens, 6 Rhode Island Reds, 6 New Hampshire Reds, 6 Americana's. All my Americanas are being pecked on at the tail base, one so bad the tail bones are showing! (sperated her). I caught one of the Rhode Island reds pecking her. Other than de-peaking, What can I use to put on these hens to stop this bad habit, before it gets worse? I tried useing Blu-Kote, but its not helping. Hens have plenty of room in hen house, 8 nest boxes, plenty of room for outside foraging. Greens are given everyday. I started them on Poulin layer then change to Layena.[​IMG][​IMG]
  2. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    Try peeps? Their a plastic piece that covers their vision infront of them. I've also heard pine tar will work.
  3. amainehenhouse

    amainehenhouse Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 6, 2008
    Pine Tar? Where can I get it? :|
    2 Shih Tzu's, 2 Cats, 2 White Blacked tailed Japanese, 5 Maylasian roosters, 2 Maylasian Hens! 2 Maylasian roosters 4 sale!
  4. chilling in muscadine

    chilling in muscadine { I love being disfunctual }

    Jun 8, 2008
    muscadine, al.
    Sounds like your girl are bored. Try hanging some veggies for them to peck at. Good luck
  5. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    Can you let them free range?
    Try putting some sun flower seeds in there pen so they have something to do.
  6. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    If there is only one hen you think is the culprit- the easy and fast treatment is to get rid of that bird. The longer the habit goes on, the more hens will become involved, and you may soon end up with severely crippled/maimed or dead birds. Tails are bad enough, but if she/they start going after the vent- you will have a mess very fast.

    Separate the victims until healed, separate the culprit(s) and cull. The problem is that ANY hen will pick at injured flesh if they see it and have nothing more interesting to do, and once the hen discovers that meat is good- they will do it more and more.

    The best thing to do is prevent the problem from ever happening by providing lots of food, space, stuff to do, and immediately removing any bird that is injured as it will be picked on. Chickens in general can be surprisingly brutal to each other. Cannibalism is usually a problem only in overcrowded, stressed or bored birds. Feather picking sometimes with dietary deficiencies.
    If you choose to keep a bird with a cannibalistic habit with others, you will constantly have to be providing things more tasty and more interesting for the bad bird to peck at than it's neighbors behind.
  7. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    There are already lots of good answers here re. the cannibalism issue. It is a nasty habit that should be solved ASAP. If you decide to try pine tar, check your local co-op or TSC in the horse section. Comes in a metal can ~ VERY sticky.

    As some have said, though, the main issue is boredom/lack of a job. Give them stuff to do, cull offenders, heal victims before replacing to pen. Good luck!
  8. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    I agree with the good info you've gotten so far - and if you know there is one specific hen doing this, you may need to cull her. If you want to give her a chance, separate her immediately and keep her separated until the others heal. When you let her back in with the others, watch her carefully and if she starts it again, well culling may be the only answer.

    Cut out all snacks that are high in calories and low in protein and fiber. Fill the chicken run with leaves and anything else that may keep them busy. Free range, if you can.

    You may find this thread helpful.

    Good luck,
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2008
  9. amainehenhouse

    amainehenhouse Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 6, 2008
    Thank you so much to everyone for al the ideas! I solved the problem with PINE TAR! HENS have plenty room and lots of veggies and fruit to peck at all day, feeders are full everyday and clean water! They also get scratch feeds. Thanks!

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