Hens (and rooster) getting pecked, blue stuff didn't work.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by potocki99, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. potocki99

    potocki99 Out Of The Brooder

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    Northern Michigan
    I feel so bad for these guys...er, girls/guy.

    Every one of them is getting picked at like crazy. The girls all have bald backs toward the butt, and the rooster has a bald butt, and evidence of picking at his neck. They have plenty of room, plus and outdoor run, get treats, etc. I've treated them all with the blue spray stuff and it isn't working!

    Thoughts?
     
  2. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fairfield, Maine
    My Coop
    I've had this problem, but it was 2 hens doing all the pecking. Are there any that look pristine (most obvious culprits)?
    Sometimes it can be boredom, also could be lack of protein. I solved my problem by putting pinless peepers on the worst offenders. They wore them for almost a year, and then I removed them, but I've noticed one hen is already resuming this annoying behavior, so the peepers may have to come back. [​IMG]

    http://www.eggcartons.com/Pinless-Peepers/productinfo/PINLESS-P/
     
  3. potocki99

    potocki99 Out Of The Brooder

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    Northern Michigan
    Hey - that's pretty interesting!

    Does it hurt them at all? Tell me more about them!
     
  4. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    I have a "picker"...and I put pinless peepers on her. She got them off after about 3 weeks and I noticed it had damaged her nostrils - it looked painful! No wonder she didn't want them on.

    What I found that finally works - keep in mind she is WHITE (leghorn) - I sprayed HER with the bluekote - in stripes all over her. She totally freaked out. Ran around the yard hollerin and hiding. She could tell the other hens treated her differently and psychologically knocked her off her high-horse. I've done it twice in 6 months the last time being about 2 months ago and so far so good! It's pretty funny entertainment too! [​IMG]
     
  5. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fairfield, Maine
    My Coop
    I laughed picturing that striped white leghorn! [​IMG]
    I don't know if the peepers hurt. They did not flinch when I put them on, but one of the hens flinched when we took them out, but we were removing them because she had an injury to her comb, so I'm not sure what was hurting.
    We put ours on in the evening. The first time, we put them on during the day, and not only did the hen get freaked out, but everyone was pecking and pulling at the peepers. They had them pulled off in about 30 seconds.

    When we put them on in the evening, not only was it easy to catch the hen, but they seem to wake up comfortable with them and no one pecked at them.

    One problem with the peepers is that I feel they are at a disadvantage if you let them free-range. We think that is how ours got injured. Since it is winter and they don't like the snow, they all head under our house (which is on posts), and there is a whole bunch of junk under there, including scraps of fencing. We think she got hung up in it with her peepers and cut her comb.

    Despite all that, I would use the peepers again, if I have a bad picker that I don't want to rehome or cull. When our picking problem got going, it seemed to escalate until they were drawing blood. Giving them a little free-range time definitely helped, along with extra protein, and peepers for those that seemed to have picking as their life's mission!
     
  6. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Most often, feather picking can be attributed to low protien intake, providing the birds are not overcrowded or stressed. Perhaps the availability of treats is diluting the protien intake, or perhaps the feed isn't high enough in protien by itself. Probably it would be best to cut out the treats and feed a higher protien feed for a while and see if that helps. Look for up to 20%. In the meantime, I have had great success with an anti peck spray that I found in a pet store. It's flavored like sour apples and it's clear. Has worked well for me on minor problems for over ten years. The little 4 oz. spray bottle has lasted that long and I still have some of the original. Good luck getting all that straightened out.........Pop
     
  7. farm-a-zootical

    farm-a-zootical Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2011
    Nothing worked for us. Our girls are now sporting pinless peepers. They are confined in their run, which has more than enough space, because of hawks & that escalated their problem, sort of like tantrums. I'm keeping them on high protein to see if their feathers grow back in faster. Has anyone else had an issue that indicated pain with the peepers? I don't want to cull or rehome them, so, if this works, I'll be extremely happy. Their butts are so bare I may get them a dance pole.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not saying this is the cause, but unless you pay close attention, you haven't ruled it out. Could it be that some of you have birds that are molting? Many times chickens molt at odd times of the year, even the dead of winter. Might be worth looking into.

    By the way. I wouldn't go higher than 20-21% protien. Seems to cause more problems than it cures in some flocks.......Pop
     
  9. potocki99

    potocki99 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2011
    Northern Michigan
    Quote: I about spit my coffee out with that, LOL!

    Pop - I have "In God We Trust" printed on our checks - love seeing it on your signature.

    Unless chickens can molt for... 4 months now, I don't think that is it. I will go to the feed store and switch their feed - the stuff they are on is 16%. I forgot to mention that for scratch, I am giving them just cracked corn - would that make any difference?

    Treats aren't always a daily thing. I do veggies, but we don't always have left overs.
     
  10. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Replace the cracked corn with BOSS for the higher protein.

    I have had my go round with picking. I tried everything known to poultry keeping to stop it. Literally everything. I ended up culling the worst offenders after a year of trying to stop it. That was the only effective strategy I found that worked long term. If presented with the same problem in the future that will be my recourse again. I spent so much time, resources and money trying to stop the picking, but it just got worse and worse because it is a contagious habit that spreads through the flock like wildfire. By the end of 2011 I had less than half the birds I had at the beginning of 2011, but those birds were beautiful, fully feathered, and at peace for the first time. So, it was worth it.

    Good luck.
     

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