How can you stop chickens pecking feathers out of each other?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by annandmel, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. annandmel

    annandmel New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2010
    Why do my chickens peck feathers out of each other, they are bald in places?
     
  2. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2009
    Central PA
    hello annandmel. Chickens peck each other for a number of reasons. First, have you seen them plucking each others' feathers? If not, they could just be molting. You also want to check for parasites (lice and mites). Make sure you have an area for them to dustbathe, as this will discourage parasites. Search lice and mites on this site if you suspect parasites might be your problem.

    If you are sure they are pecking each other, bluekote applied to the bare areas will hide the bare skin or red areas and discourage further pecking. Make sure their feed has an adequate protein content, and you could try adding some protein to their diet - scrambled eggs for example. Are their coop and run space adequate? I think the recommendation for coop space is 4 square feet per bird. I can't remember what the run space should be - maybe someone else will chime in. And last, to prevent boredom, give them some greens in a suet cage to peck at. Some folks on here hang cabbages in the run for them to peck (be careful how you hang these though so your birds do not become tangled in them).
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010

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