How long to keep a feather-picker separated?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Firefly, May 4, 2008.

  1. Firefly

    Firefly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
    Connecticut
    Hi all [​IMG] I have four RIR hens that are a year old. We had such a smooth first year but recently things seem to be going downhill! About a month ago we had to euthanize one of our girls for a recurring impacted crop problem. Now we have a feather picker.

    They have plenty of room (7x12 coop, 12x12 run). I've tried upping protein, feeding hulled BOSS, Blue-Kote, Bitter Apple, slathering the other girls with Vicks Vapo-Rub... nothing seems to deter my picker! The others will peck back at her to sort of say "no" or move away, but it still is happening and one of my hens has a huge bald spot on her breast because of it. I'm very worried about what could happen if she winds up drawing blood. I've read on this board that sometimes removing a chicken from the flock and putting her back will help with feather picking.

    So, as a last resort I penned off a section of the coop with chicken wire frames, to make a sort of mini coop w/in a coop. My question is, how long should I keep her from socializing with the other hens? And has anyone else had any success with this method? I am desperate! I don't want to loose another hen. I'll be down to three.[​IMG]
     
  2. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Keep her away long enough for the other girls to establish a new pecking order. Then, put that one girl back in. The idea is to knock her off the top rung, and it's easier if she comes into a "new" group.
     
  3. Firefly

    Firefly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
    Connecticut
    Thanks, Carrie! Do you have any idea how long that usually takes? Will it be a matter of days? Weeks? I just don't want to re-introduce her too soon and have the pecking start up again.
     
  4. Firefly

    Firefly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
    Connecticut
    Anyone? [​IMG]
     
  5. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Quote:I'd try it for a couple days, and if she gets right back into it, try a week, etc.
     
  6. Acre of Blessings

    Acre of Blessings Canning/Sewing Addict

    Apr 3, 2008
    Axton, VA
    I have a White Leghorn that had all the tail feathers pecked out by the other chicks. I have had this one in confinment for a week or more now. She is in the house with us in a large box with shavings.
    The tail feathers are just now starting to grow back. When they are in enought o cover the bald spot on the tail I am going to try to re-introduce the chick with the others. Take you rtime though, don't rush it.
     
  7. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2008
    I've had success with seperating and re-introducing. I kept the aggressor seperate for 5-7 days and then put her back in. You just have to make sure she in turn doesn't become the victim to any overly brutal attacks.

    -Kim
     
  8. Firefly

    Firefly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
    Connecticut
    Thanks so much everyone![​IMG]
     
  9. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Let us know how it works. If you don't have any luck, we can think of something else for you to do!
     
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    One of the members here said they had 100% success rate with adding salt to the water to keep birds from feather plucking. Worth a try!
     

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