How long to keep aggressive pullet in time out?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MySuburbanLife, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. MySuburbanLife

    MySuburbanLife In the Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2012
    Suburban Seattle
    My 7 month-old silkie is being a brat. For the past month or so I've caught her pulling feathers out of her flockmates' behinds. She's been close to laying, so I chalked it up to stress, hormones, whatever. She started laying this week and the plucking behavior has gotten much worse-- she has pulled nearly all the tail feathers out of my RIR, and started pulling out the feathers on the back of one of my BO's neck.

    My flock has plenty of space, fresh water and plenty of food, and gets daily treats of scratch, cracked corn, greens, and mealworms. I've tried upping the protein in their diet by doubling their daily ration of meal worms and adding scrambled eggs, but the silkie is still tormenting certain members of the flock. I put her in a brooding pen (2'x3') with water, food, and pine shavings for bedding right next to the flock's run.

    How long should I leave her there? What should I do with her at night? Bring the brooder pen into the house for safety from predators, or allow her back in the coop to sleep? Any other tips on how to break a feather plucking brat?
     
  2. Stef82

    Stef82 Chirping

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    Jul 19, 2012
    Bucks County, Pa
    All I know about feather pulling is due to space. I visited a place where chickens good amount of room, but I guess the chickens didn't think it was enough room and they pulled feathers left and right.
    But other then that, not sure what else could cause her to do this. Maybe someone else might have a good idea on why. Sorry I couldn't help.
     
  3. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Aug 20, 2010
    Colmesneil,TX
    She should be completely separated from them all for a week, and that includes nights and weekends. ;)
     
  4. MySuburbanLife

    MySuburbanLife In the Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2012
    Suburban Seattle
    So I'll pop the brooder pen in the garage this afternoon when my husband gets home from work. I've also ordered some pinless peepers, in case her week of time out doesn't solve the problem.
     

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