Hens pulling out roos tail feathers - WHY?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dragonfly Ranch, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Dragonfly Ranch

    Dragonfly Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Happy Valley, CA
    I have noticed some of my Lakenvalder tail feathers laying around in the run but didn't pay much attention to it. Then last night I observed a Silver Lace pecking at his tail and trying to pull them out. When I looked closer at the roo sure enough his tail in getting a lot thinner.

    Why do you think they are doing this? Should I worry or separate him from them for a while?

    Thanks for you advise

    Sandee
     
  2. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    Mites or something?
     
  3. Dragonfly Ranch

    Dragonfly Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Happy Valley, CA
    I'll have to check hens for mites since this roo can be Mr. Cranky Pants and would have a fit if I tried catch him let alone examine him for mites. Unless, someone else has a suggestion.
     
  4. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 19, 2009
    How much space do they have?

    How much protein are they getting?
     
  5. SproutGirl

    SproutGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 3, 2008
    Missoula, Montana
    Are these birds new to the flock, or are any of them very young? Maybe they are just working on setting up the pecking order.
     
  6. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    Northern KY
    Quote:I agree. This is likely a protein thing. What brand of feed are you feeding them? What percentage of protein? I am a big fan of real live animal protein in chicken feed, rather than "vegetarian" chicken feed (chickens are NOT vegetarians!)

    I would try adding some real meat to their diet to see if it helps. You can use either dried cat food, or if you don't like that idea, you can even cook some hamburger and give it to them, they'll love it.
     
  7. Dragonfly Ranch

    Dragonfly Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Happy Valley, CA
    Quote:I agree. This is likely a protein thing. What brand of feed are you feeding them? What percentage of protein? I am a big fan of real live animal protein in chicken feed, rather than "vegetarian" chicken feed (chickens are NOT vegetarians!)

    I would try adding some real meat to their diet to see if it helps. You can use either dried cat food, or if you don't like that idea, you can even cook some hamburger and give it to them, they'll love it.

    They are all the same age and been together since they were all one day old and are now 8 months old. This behavior has just started. He is a small breed only weights may be 3 1/2 pounds and about the same size as the Silver Lace. They are on a good layer feed not sure of the protein content but will check.

    I'll try adding a little cat food. But don't you think that if there was a protein problem they would be all pecking each other not just the roo?

    Wish husband wasn't working out of town so he could help me check for mites. Any suggestions on checking by myself.

    Sandee
     
  8. Chickens in Elmwood

    Chickens in Elmwood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2009
    Elmwood, WV
    Yes! Here is the only way I could catch my roo (although last time we caught him, we ate him two days later - he had an attitude problem) or my white leghorn is to get them off the roost while they are sleeping.

    I am telling you, they are SO docile. Husband picked the roo up off the roost using one hand underneath and captured roos legs between his fingers. The other hand goes on the back to hold the wings still. Flip them upside down really quick and check the vent. That is where the mites will be if you hav any. You will see them crawling there. You have to be quick because it is not good for them to be upside down for any length of time at all. If you do have mites, you will need some sort of pesticide dust, which you will dust directly onto their vents. Seriously, if you get them off the roost and be quick about it, it is like they don't even know what is happening.

    BUT, I don't know if this is mites or not. Are they scratching any? Are you getting mysterious bug bites when you are around the chickens? I would probably separate him out for a while. Your hen might just be a bully.

    That said, it isn't a bad idea to check for mites anyway.
     
  9. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Quote:Typical women... he's henpecked.

    That or they are flirting....



    [​IMG]
     
  10. Dragonfly Ranch

    Dragonfly Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Happy Valley, CA
    Quote:I have not noticed any of them scratching. I'm not getting any bites. I do use DE and they have a dust box that has pure DE in it and they use it.

    Isn't it true that if one has mites then they all would have them? I can check my one Red Star she is so calm and has no problem being picked up. I have checked her before and her vent was very clean and healthy looking.

    Thanks for the suggestion on checking them at night. Only problem no light in coop. When you say not to hold upside down too long - how long is that? Sorry but still a newbie to chickens. But as always everyone here is so nice and has great advice.

    Sandee
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009

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