Help with pinless peeper injury

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by country chick13, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. country chick13

    country chick13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2013
    We have 31 chickens (mixed flock) and ended up using pinless peepers on them to stop the relentless feather plucking they were doing to each other. The peepers were put on in mid September. One of our Buff Orpingtons managed to rip hers out last night, she seemed fine today until late afternoon, she went into one of the nesting boxes and will not come out. I looked her over and there is no blood, but I can see that she has ripped her nostrils open ( from one nostril to the other). I'm worried about infection. I'm thinking now of taking the peepers off all of my girls so this doesn't happen to any more of them. Does anyone know if there is any risk to her with this injury? It isn't bleeding or seem open or weepy...I'm freaking out though, my girls are more than "just chickens" to me!:fl
     
  2. farmtotable

    farmtotable Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 7, 2011
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    My Coop
    I wouldn't worry too much about the injury getting an infection unless you start to see signs of an infection. What I would worry about, though, is the reason for all the feather plucking in the first place. That type of aggressive behavior is a sign of stress, and if they're doing it to the degree you're describing, they must be pretty stressed indeed. What type of housing situation do you have for them? Are they in a tractor or a pen, or do they free range? I'm wondering if they are maybe over crowded? Personally (and this is ONLY my opinion), I think putting on devices like the pinless peepers is very cruel, since it's not at all natural. I would work to alleviate whatever is causing the stress, rather than forcing a device on them for the sake of convenience. I'm totally not trying to be rude, that's just my opinion. We free range our 70+ chickens, and we've never had that type of problem. I realize free-ranging isn't an option for a lot of people, for very legitimate reasons, but it sounds like either your flock needs more room or you need to downsize. Maybe also try putting out some treats to distract them. Like split a pumpkin or large squash in half, it will take them awhile to eat it all. or put a head of lettuce, or some grains/oats/etc down on the ground for them to scratch at. You can make a "treat ball" by putting fresh greens and fruit in a suet feeder, then hanging it where they can peck at it. If you put enough distractions in their run, maybe they won't spend their time attacking each other.....
     
  3. country chick13

    country chick13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2013
    Our coop is 12*16 and is 14ft high, we also free range them during the day. The problem started last year with our 2 RIR hens bullying the newer BSL hens, we tried more protein, treats to distract them, blu kote, pine tar....the ONLY thing that has worked was the peepers. We introduced the new hens to the flock and didn't try the peepers until the BSL started bullying the new ones, and saw some of our new pullets were doing it too. It is learned behavior. Since putting the peepers on they are finally growing new feathers, it was try them or let them kill each other, which I don't see being very humane either...we give them scratch, BOSS, pumpkins, cabbage (hanging), and I bake flock blocks for them, they have plenty to do, plenty of room, unfortunately, we had a few "bad apples" that taught their nasty behavior to the flock.
     
  4. farmtotable

    farmtotable Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 7, 2011
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    My Coop
    oh, that is unfortunate! Can you separate the aggressive hens from the non-aggressive ones? Definitely not a behavior you want to keep going in your flock...What if you put a rooster in the mix? Our roos tend to police the hens fairly well.
     

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