Hen Plucking her Chicks.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jak2002003, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 24, 2009
    I have a mother hen and 7 chicks. The chicks are now over 3 weeks old.

    Their mother is pulling feathers out of each chicks rear end.. where the tail joins the body.

    All of them have a bald patch now in that area, and some have sores and wounds and some blood.

    She only started doing this yesterday. I have never had a hen do this before... and she has raised many broods with no problems.

    I thought it was because she was stressed in the main run (although they have a huge area and its not overcrowded.

    So I let them all out to free range today... but she is still doing it, even when I throw some treats on the ground.. she prefers to pluck feather out of her chicks. The chicks keep going back to her when she calls them over for food.. and then she pecks them.

    Should I take her away from the chicks and leave them in a group with the main flock? They don't get picked on by other birds. And they are at the stage when they fly / scrabble up to the roosts for the night.

    Any ideas what the best thing to do is? And also what would cause this behaviour?
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I think lots of times, they eat feathers because they are short of protein. I would try some supplemental protein of soe sort. I would also separate her from the chicks for a few days, if possible. It could also be that she is just through with mothering and trying to run them off.
    1 person likes this.

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