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How to stop a hen from plucking other's feathers?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by attached_mama, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. attached_mama

    attached_mama In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2010
    Outskirts of Pittsburgh
    I have an Amber Link that's been a "punk" since she was a little chick. She's used to just "hog" food and chase the others away. Now, she's started pulling the feathers out of the other hen's butts. She has enough protein, different food/water areas, and branches and toys. I sprayed all the hens with bluecote, and I have one hen separated, recovering in the house after she got stuck in the run and the amber link tried to eat her alive.[​IMG] They were all born just before Easter.

    Even with the bluecote, she is still pulling feathers out from my other hens.

    Is there a way to stop this behavior?
    Should I give her a new home?
    Give her to my farmer friend who is going to be processing his chickens soon?

  2. Sooner

    Sooner My kids Mom!

    Mar 22, 2009
    I would take her out for a while & see if it doesn't lower her in the pecking order. Once she is put back in the flock if she continues she would be sent down the road to the chicken famer.
  3. mdbokc

    mdbokc Songster

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    That would be one week in "chicken jail" at our place. Then reintroduce her. If it continues, another week in jail. I have never had more than 2 sentences to reform an offender.
  4. attached_mama

    attached_mama In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2010
    Outskirts of Pittsburgh
    Thanks! We have a coop inside a large dog run. Would it be OK to place her in a crate inside the run? (it's not very cold here yet) I don't have a place to put her in the house, as I have the injured hen inside already.
  5. phaethona

    phaethona Songster

    Apr 13, 2010
    I had RIR who picked on my white leghorn for a while, even pecked off part of her comb once. a friend of mine said to try adding apple cider vinegar to their water(the organic kind with the "mother" enzyme in it, I get mine at Vitamin Shoppe)
    seems like it worked, hasn't been a problem since then. plus, ACV works great as a de-wormer, and they like the taste so they'll drink more water. I use one Tbl to one gallon of water.
    I would try that before getting rid of her
  6. mdbokc

    mdbokc Songster

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    My chicken jail is very simple. It is a wire dog crate similar to this.. http://www.dog.com/item/midwest-large-dog-crate/110426/

    also built one about the same size for jail/hospital with 2x2's and hardwire cloth.

    I just put her in a barn or shed and leave the door open during the day for light and fresh air. Close up at night for safety. Put her back with the others after a week....a long time to a chicken. [​IMG]
  7. Uzuri

    Uzuri Songster

    Mar 25, 2009
    The pinless peepers really do work if all else fails. That's the direction I ended up having to go. No more naked girls.

    Well... one more naked girl. I think she's just so far gone that she's not going to grow 'em back until she does a full molt.

    Sounds like she's pretty aggressive; she may take some work.

  8. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    I just gave up on my feather picker. She is a Golden Neck Duccle and totally took the tail off of her mate and yesterday I found his feet bloody. She has been in and out of birdie jail numerous times for such infractions so I was only willing to give her one more chance....So I moved everyone's pens around and put her in with 9 other Duccle hens. Within 30 minutes she was right back at it, plucking feathers, biting at feet. Ugh!

    So, I yanked her out and put her out to free range with my layers.

    She is not a happy chicken. She walks up and down in front of the breeder pens trying to get in with her friends. Its pathetic but I cant have her doing this anymore. I have tried everything and this one is stubborn. I figure she will end up with my little OEGB/Serama Mixed Roo eventually. They would make a cute pair out there amongst the Wyandottes, Orpingtons and Sussex. [​IMG]

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