how do you stop feather picking???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LindsayB, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. LindsayB

    LindsayB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my easter egger is constantly being picked by the sex-link hen. she has some balding on her little behind now bc of it. the wyandotte is not doing this at all nor being picked at. why is this?! and what can i do to help make it stop?

    you can kind of see in this picture how her back-end isnt as full as it should be...
    [​IMG]
     
  2. LindsayB

    LindsayB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    heres a better picture i just took!
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Salemchickenmama

    Salemchickenmama New Egg

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    Hi

    I haven't posted here in such a long time, but I saw your post and thought "I may be able to actually help with that". We were having a BIG problem last spring and summer with certain chickens picking on others to the point that the victims were red and sore looking. After trying a couple of ideas we finally called my husband's 93 year old grandmother (who I've only met once 20 years ago, she lives thousands of miles away). She has kept chickens for years. Her remedy: put some red pepper (a pretty good amount, like two tablespoons to a jar) in vaseline and apply it to the pecked at areas. I thought there was very little chance that it would work, but I was totally wrong. The pecking stopped immediately, and now all of our chickens look and feel great! Their feathers have grown back and the offenders have completely stopped I don't think it harmed anyone either... Spreading vaseline on chicken's butts isn't fun, but we only had to do it for a very short time, and the result was well worth it!

    Hope this helps!

    salemchickenmama
     
  4. LindsayB

    LindsayB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    it sounds like it would work! ill give it a shot, thanks!
     
  5. SweetMissDaisy

    SweetMissDaisy Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can also try Pine Tar -- you'll find it at the farm supply store in the equine section for treating hooves. It's a consistency of molasses. It helps promote healing, and must taste TERRIBLE -- picking stops immediately. [​IMG] Put a thin layer on the picked on area. I used a medium sized craft paint brush that I could toss afterwards. A Q-tip would probably work too. It doesn't look great, but seems to be working.

    I have a little rooster that a couple of my hens just LOVE to preen. But, they've preened him bald on each side of his neck. Hopefully his feathers grow in again! He's just funny looking!
     
  6. Jolyn

    Jolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Northern California
    Two of mine get picked at too. Once my EE was pretty red and sore so i put neosporin on it. Seemed to heal it up and she was left alone for awhile. I'm due to put is on again. I might try the vaseline and pepper too. That'll teach em to pick on her.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2008
  7. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

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    Mar 20, 2008
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    Do you free range them? If not, how many chickens do you have and how much space do they have in the chicken run?

    One of the biggest contributors to feather picking is boredom. It's not the only one, but certainly the biggest one. If they are confined, provide some distractions for them - add raked leaves, straw, feed blocks, hanging vegetables, etc. Anything to keep them busy pecking something other than each other.

    I would spray the bald area with blue kote so that it doesn't stand out to the other chickens. I also think the red pepper in vaseline would help. I used hot pick and it helped.

    Feather picking can be difficult to stop, but it's not impossible. I wish you the best of luck.

    Penny
     
  8. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Since mine have to be inside most of the year, I've found a very good roo will put an end to that, also! He makes those hens behave or he puts them in the receiving end and they don't like that one bit! [​IMG]
     
  9. LindsayB

    LindsayB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they really only go in the run and coop in the evenings and when they decide to lay. so i guess i have them free range in the backyard. the sex link will pick at her back end all day long even when they're out in the grass. she is the only one doing this behavior. I thought it was bc her beak was trimmed so maybe she was having trouble eating and not getting enough nutrients...but she seems to be doing a fine job eating feed and everything else...so i dont know. i tried the pepper thing earlier today so we will see if that works. I dont really want her to have a bare butt during the cold nights though.
     
  10. LindsayB

    LindsayB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:And I would LOVE to have a rooster but I live in a neighborhood where we arent even really supposed to have chickens lol...so shhh! We're hoping to get a few acres soon and move alittle farther out.
     

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