I separated the tail-picker... she's freaking out

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by scullybird, May 6, 2009.

  1. scullybird

    scullybird Out Of The Brooder

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    May 5, 2009
    Corvallis, OR
    My white leghorn kept picking at others' tail feathers, and I worried she might start doing harm in time. So, I separated her for the first time tonight.

    They are out in a giant run all day, but we still bring them in at night (no coop, yet). They are 5 1/2 weeks, mixed breeds.

    Inside, they're in a 2.5 x 4 dog kennel (with open bars, not the cargo-type... the dog-crate-training type). So, I put in the divider panel used for small puppies (the divider is just like the rest of the cage). She has 2 square feet to herself, with a perch, food and water.

    She keeps charging at the divider, trying to fly over it, push her head thru the bars (her head fits smoothly, but not her shoulders, so I'm not worried about her getting stuck).

    Will she calm down eventually?

    Thanks for any words of support.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Is this the chick that was picking at the feathers, but not pulling them out; more like preening them?
     
  3. BellLisamo

    BellLisamo Diagnosed w/ Muscovitis

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tombstone, AZ
    oh yes, she will calm down, shes scared right now because shes all alone, eventually she will stop running around like a chicken with its head cut off........
     
  4. Chicks_N_Horses

    Chicks_N_Horses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    South Alabama
    It's good you took her away from the others. IMO

    I think she will get over it eventually. Maybe put a toy chicken in with her ?? LOL
     
  5. emilyweck

    emilyweck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2009
    Eugene, Oregon
    I have a young one (6 weeks) that preens her buddy. I thought she was picking at first, but she wasn't. Maybe take her aside and give her some yogurt for protein. She just might be at a stage where she needs a little more than the others. Good luck. As for stopping the aggressive behavior, she'll stop at some point. Just make sure she can't harm herself.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    But if this is the chick I remember reading and commenting on that is just preening the feathers she's doing no harm IMO. There's a big difference between preening and pulling out feathers.
     
  7. scullybird

    scullybird Out Of The Brooder

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    May 5, 2009
    Corvallis, OR
    Quote:Yes, this is that one.

    Other folks had concern that the preening would turn into pecking or pulling, and suggested I separate them. She's doing non-stop when they're in the crate. She does it a little out in the run, but very little. In the crate, she barely stops to eat or drink.
     
  8. emilyweck

    emilyweck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2009
    Eugene, Oregon
    Quote:Yes, this is that one.

    Other folks had concern that the preening would turn into pecking or pulling, and suggested I separate them. She's doing non-stop when they're in the crate. She does it a little out in the run, but very little. In the crate, she barely stops to eat or drink.

    Is she bored? How many are in the crate?
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I dunno. If she's doing it to the point of driving the other chicks crazy, then I might have seperated her. However, my motto has always been if they are not drawing blood, let them figure it out. Seperating can have its own problems, as you are finding out. As I told you, I have a grown hen that will preen my rooster anytime he holds still long enough; even on the roost at night.
    If you decide to keep her seperated try offering her a clean feather duster for company; something for her to preen to her hearts content and comfort her.
     
  10. scullybird

    scullybird Out Of The Brooder

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    May 5, 2009
    Corvallis, OR
    Well, they all calmed down by bedtime, and in the morning, were fine, too. They're all out in the pen now, and I haven't seen any tail pecking/preening, so far... but she usually only did it a lot in the cage.

    Hopefully, the coop will be finished this weekend, and I won't have to worry about it any more. And, frankly, I'll be glad to have the mess out of the house. The bigger they get, the dirtier they are!

    But, I'll miss seeing them during the evenings. I often just sit next to their cage and watch them, like a TV. They're such funny, silly, interesting creatures.

    We have a bench outside next to the hutch and run, so we can sit and enjoy them in nice weather....
     

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