How to get rid of ugly chickens that are great layers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Crimsonchicken, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Crimsonchicken

    Crimsonchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2011
    North Alabama
    Okay. They are not naturally ugly, lol. They are feather eaters and I have tried EVERYTHING to get them to stop. They are brown leghorns. I have eight pullets and 3 cockerels. They will be a year old in July. The hens are good layers, but look like they have leprosy or something. I know it's feather eating because I've seen them do it. The poor rooster that is in with the hens has no tail to speak of. He looks hilariously pitiful. The other two Roos have their own bachelor pads. They free range most of the day, are fed high quality feed, boiled eggs, meal worms, some scratch, and the occasional can of cat food because they love it. Their coop is plenty big and has plenty of nest boxes. I think this is just a learned behavior and they are not going to stop until they are separated or are in new surroundings.

    Recently we got some new chicks ( EE, New Hampshire, Black Star, Sussex, Orpington, Red Comet, and Barred Rock). We want to raise a new laying flock and see if they behave better. So, my question is, what do we do with the old flock of feather eaters? I really don't want to kill them. Plus, leghorns are skinny birds. I'd rather they were sold or adopted, but who wants ugly chickens? I know the feathers grow back, but that takes a while and they won't let any grow in. I don't know what to do. The new chicks are about to be too big for the brooder.

    Gah. They would lay some nice big eggs for someone.
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    I would highly recommend that you make sure you tell whoever looks at them that they are feather eaters (which I would assume would make it really difficult to sell or even give them away). Honestly, if they lived at my house, I would have butchered anyone I caught gobbling down feathers. Skinny or not, you could process them and can the meat for soups or something. Good luck, if they had just been ugly from an over zealous roo or moult you could probably be rid of them easily. I don't know many people who are willing to take on birds that are already known to have behavior problems. I'm not much help, sorry :/
     
  3. Crimsonchicken

    Crimsonchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2011
    North Alabama
    I know. Behavior problems suck. They do really good free ranging. Maybe I could build them a night shelter and kick them out of the coop for good? I would feel so bad. What is a good cheap and quick shelter for free ranging birds? Maybe that's a question for another section. I don't know. Sigh. Thanks for the input.
     

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