Hen plucking my molting chicken feathers

Avettfan

Chirping
Apr 11, 2021
29
36
59
We are going through this now too. We have a small urban flock of 4. Our production blue Francine (top bird) is picking the tail feathers of the others (and the easter egger in particular). We started by completely separating Francine for three days. Put her back and she started again immediately. Separated her again, this time for almost a week. Nope, didn’t work either. So I ordered the pin-less peepers. She had them on for almost 3 weeks. She did great with them and the feather plucking stopped completely. She was able to stay with the flock and didn’t seem to have any problems eating/drinking/roosting. We just took them off of her. It’s been about a week and she seems to have stopped. I’m still keeping a close eye on her for awhile. Good luck to you.
 

WhtRos2

Songster
6 Years
Dec 27, 2014
52
64
117
Rock Island, IL
I've used the pinless peepers on a couple girls and they worked really well. Kept them from 'abusing' the other girls. I kept an eye on the peepers and they never seemed to hurt them. Sure was a relief to the other girls, especially the ones most picked on. Don't be afraid to use them and leave them indefinitely. The 2 girls I used them on had them on for many months because whenever I took off the peepers they went back to their old pecking ways.
 

swimmy44

Songster
10 Years
Apr 2, 2011
43
86
119
We are going through this now too. We have a small urban flock of 4. Our production blue Francine (top bird) is picking the tail feathers of the others (and the easter egger in particular). We started by completely separating Francine for three days. Put her back and she started again immediately. Separated her again, this time for almost a week. Nope, didn’t work either. So I ordered the pin-less peepers. She had them on for almost 3 weeks. She did great with them and the feather plucking stopped completely. She was able to stay with the flock and didn’t seem to have any problems eating/drinking/roosting. We just took them off of her. It’s been about a week and she seems to have stopped. I’m still keeping a close eye on her for awhile. Good luck to you.
I know about the peepers but when I tried to buy them I would have had to buy a huge # of them so I reverted to my old farmer's standby - bag balm for all - putting it NEAR but not ON nostrils which makes it impossible to smell what they then want to Peck!
 

Chicken mob

Hatching
Sep 8, 2021
5
5
8
Hi, I have 6 chickens molting right now with my New Hampshire Red going through the worst of it. She pretty much has no butt feathers.

I've been feeding extra protein everyday like meat and scrambled eggs. It's helping just wish feathers would grow faster!

Anyway my Australorp plucked one of my molting chickens pin feathers today and has decided "this is fun" or the blood must taste good to her. Now she won't stop. I have her separated in my run extension with food water and a small shelter. She is one of my only layers right now and not molting. How long do I need to keep her separated so she "forgets" all about the pin feathers coming in?

I live in an urban setting. She definitely has to roost with the flock at night. It's been 30 degrees and lower at times.

This is so frustrating:tongue
Spray the hen who is getting plucked with Blukote, sometimes helps.
 

Chicken mob

Hatching
Sep 8, 2021
5
5
8
Suggest you cage her with a mild mannered hen from your flock. When she heals it will be a other transition to the flock of she is not solitary for days or weeks. Buy some bag balm for her wound and slather it on. It will act as anticeptic as well as mask her smell and the blood odor. When you put her back with the others put bagbalm on the others' beaks - avoid nostrils - and none can smell her or anything else. Good luck.
Spray her with Blukote, it will help, and hrlp her heal.
 

icy_flames

Songster
Jan 9, 2021
150
255
106
CO
I've used the pinless peepers on a couple girls and they worked really well. Kept them from 'abusing' the other girls. I kept an eye on the peepers and they never seemed to hurt them. Sure was a relief to the other girls, especially the ones most picked on. Don't be afraid to use them and leave them indefinitely. The 2 girls I used them on had them on for many months because whenever I took off the peepers they went back to their old pecking ways.
Yeah looks like the peepers are a winner 😉Raven has had them for 4 days now. She does try to scratch off once in a while. Eating and drinking normal 👍

I think they have to stay on until a couple of my birds are finished with the molt. Probably at least 3 weeks 😬 My Ameraucana is a little bare on her butt too.

Feeding protein everyday from lean meat is helping with feather growth. They've been getting on rotation ham, scrambled eggs, turkey, hot dogs along with their veggies.
 

All4Eggz

𝕁𝕖𝕤𝕦𝕤 + ℂ𝕙𝕚𝕔𝕜𝕖𝕟𝕤 = 𝓐𝓵𝓵 𝓘 𝓝𝓮𝓮𝓭
Apr 23, 2021
3,149
10,789
661
Massachusetts
Yeah looks like the peepers are a winner 😉Raven has had them for 4 days now. She does try to scratch off once in a while. Eating and drinking normal 👍

I think they have to stay on until a couple of my birds are finished with the molt. Probably at least 3 weeks 😬 My Ameraucana is a little bare on her butt too.

Feeding protein everyday from lean meat is helping with feather growth. They've been getting on rotation ham, scrambled eggs, turkey, hot dogs along with their veggies.
Glad to hear it's working!

Good luck ❤️ Keep us posted!
 

icy_flames

Songster
Jan 9, 2021
150
255
106
CO
Hi all,

Update! Raven has had the peepers on 3 weeks. She did great with them and no picking.

I have 3 birds molting now. I'd say about 80% done. Two have very slightly noticeable pin feathers still coming in on their butts (the feather is mostly there just need the hen to preen off the shaft). Red (Ravens original target)has a couple spots on her shoulders but you cannot tell unless very up close.

I decided to take the peepers off Raven yesterday. And...then they went back on 😭 Within I'd say maybe 3 hours she immediately went to Red and plucked a butt feather. Then tried to pluck from my two other birds.

At least I've narrowed down that she's not just going after Red. She's genuinely interested in any and all pin feathers 😵 No culling or rehoming here. My hens are pets.

It was tough putting them back on. She did have a little blood in one of her nares and I had to clean out some boogers before resetting the peepers. I've watched her and she seems normal.

Are the peepers OK to stay on until everyone is done molting? I have no idea how long this will take. Another month? They get meat everyday (ham, scrambled eggs, hamburgers, etc) to help with protein boost.
 

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