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Help! Chickens pecking other chickens feathers off.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dacdeihl, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. dacdeihl

    dacdeihl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My small flock at my school has five white feathered chickens, four Isa Browns, and 1 RI Red. We lost one Isa Brown about a month ago to unknown causes. Now I know what it was. I have one or two white feathered chickens pecking the feather off on the lower back of three of the Isa Browns and some on the RI Red. If this continues they will eventually draw blood and it will be over.

    What do I do? Do blinder stop this from happening? What are my options???
     
  2. Zoomom

    Zoomom Certified Cackleberry Consumer

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    There are pinless Peepers available to stop them, someone else did a cute thing and put googly eyes on them and it was very cute. It stops them from looking straight ahead.
    Also, more space, more treats and things to do, scratching, dust bathing, free ranging, scratch feed sprinkled on the bedding can keep them busy and distracted.
    I'm sure more people will have ideas.
     
  3. Madison Farms

    Madison Farms Out Of The Brooder

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    I definitely agree more things to do. Hang some goodies that they have to reach for. (grapes, cabbage, etc)


    If they do draw blood, sprinkle what they call wonder dust on them. It has ash in it, used for horse wounds. It dries them right up and the others hate the taste so they tend not to pick at them anymore. Make sure to keep them sprinkled until the wounds heal so that they don't start up again. It has really worked for me.

    Good luck, keep us posted.
     
  4. dacdeihl

    dacdeihl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you very much. I'll try the wonder dust first. I've narrowed it down to two chickens doing the pecking. Would this also be that there is no rooster in this run? A male keeps the girls in check kind of thing? Just wondering. First time I've done a run with no rooster.
     
  5. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes a rooster will help break up fights, but he may also wear the feathers off they hens by mating.

    What feed are they getting? Sometimes if they don't get good enough nutrition they will start picking at each other. Grass and free ranging will solve pretty much any picking and aggression problems, but I sure know it's not possible everywhere, there are so many critters who would love to have chicken dinner. If you figure out that's the problem there are ways to help without free ranging. Switching to a basic Flock Raiser feed might help. Like others said hanging a head of cabbage in there and having other activities. You could grow some grass in a plastic tub and stick it in there.

    Do you have artificial light in the coop? Bright white light can cause stress and picking. As can overcrowding.
     
  6. dacdeihl

    dacdeihl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bought some wonder powder and will apply today. Going to throw a bunch of leaves in their run today for activitiy. They have pumpkins to eat and no there is no light in the coop. Yes their egg production is down but that's ok. Thanks for the imput.
     
  7. Madison Farms

    Madison Farms Out Of The Brooder

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    Let's us know how it works for ya. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    You might consider a higher protein feed. If you are feeding pellets switch to crumbles. Takes them longer to eat. I have a small hay feeder in the pen for mine and keep it filled with leafy alfalfa. It keeps them busy and they eat a surprisingly large amount of it.
     
  9. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    Great advise here. More protein. I give mine salmon or tuna from time to time. Ups the omega IIIs in my eggs!
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  10. moonlvgrl

    moonlvgrl New Egg

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    My neighbor told me to spray the chickens with vanilla......I have never heard of this and can't find anything about it. Does anyone know anything about this?
     

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