Is there ANY way to stop picking?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by max13077, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. max13077

    max13077 Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's back...[​IMG]

    I thought I had it licked. But I went to the coop this morning and there was blood all over the roost... I've tried giving them tons of stuff to play with, hot pick, and even reducing the number of birds; they stopped for a while but obviously are back at it.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  2. seriousbill

    seriousbill Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2008
    Sorry if you've already gotten this advice, but it's practical, tried and true:

    1) extend space: add a run, extend the existing run, or let them out to free range some.
    2) reduce the number of birds: check your square footage. Most LF chickens require 4 square feet per bird or more when cooped up.
    3) separate out injured birds and give them time to heal before re-introducing them.
    4) watch the birds to see if there's a primary picker. If there is, cull that bird.

    Good luck.
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is there one bird in particular who is aggressive? Recently some more experienced members had mad suggestions about modifying such behavior by identifying the aggressor as well as removing the victim(s) temporarily.

    I had blood in the coop today too which appears to have been spilt last night by a vicious peck at Maggie's comb. It was clotted by the time I found it so even though I have blue lotion on hand I'll save it for later and use only as necessary. I'll follow your thread as folks comment. I think I know who did it and my alpha girl Tibet appears to be attending the victim, so I'm hoping the aggressor (probably Golda) is already being scolded within the flock. I have a medium-sized dog cage on hand that I can use in the coop or the feed room for segregation.

    I'm going to stay with them a bit longer this evening to see if I can confirm my suspicions. I spent extra time in the run with them earlier but everyone was behaving well. The other possibility is that Maggie is making a bid for a higher spot in the flock and got pecked for her insolence. I want to know the dynamics but if I have to get her into the cage it won't be a problem so long as I offer her nest space because she's laying.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  4. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    Put some Blue Kote on the wounds to decrease picking of that area until you can single out the culprit and cull it.
  5. skand

    skand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2008
    Odessa, Tx
    Using Blue Kote means that you will be unable to eat the bird later.
    There is stuff that can be used, its Rooster Booster's peck no more.
    If you want to stop the picking, but keep the birds, consider getting a debeaking kit. It basically means you file down the tip of the beak so they cant grab a hold of the feathers. They can continue eating normally.
  6. max13077

    max13077 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The problem is, I think there are more than 1 pickers. I culled one obvious culprit this morning. I think there might be one or two more...
  7. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Max, is dividing the coop a possibility? This must be getting you down...
  8. Ron

    Ron Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2008
    Southeast Texas
    As I have posted previously, I had a similar problem along with feather picking and eating. I upped their protein by mixing in turkey raiser with their laying pellets and gave them Avia Charge 2000. I have noticed a very significant improvement in the last week or so. I started the regimen about three weeks ago.
  9. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    I had a bantam polish and I used everything to try to stop the other bantams to stop pecking her head feathers !

    I tried hot pick,pine tar,black grease,ben gay, blu-kote. NOTHING WORKED !

    I didn't have the space to segregate her except a dog kennel and she didn't like it at all. [​IMG]

    I ended up rehoming her after dealing with it for several months. It wasn't one picking on her it was all of them ! In her new home no one bothers her now. She is with 8 full size hens and they are fine with her. IM sad I had to rehome her but happy she is in a safer place.
  10. mzrea

    mzrea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2008
    I have found blood on the waterer and wondered. Please don't tell me they are drawing blood! It hurts me so to see one of my girls being picked on all the time. Her name is Flopsy because her comb flops. I just realized that she is the hen sleeping in the nesting box (i'm sure trying to stay safe), I was for a while taking the hen out of the box and placing on roost at night.. now that I know it is Flopsy I am going to let her sleep in there and just clean out the nesting box daily. Poor Flopsy. I can't stand to see the "picking" and usually chase the aggressor if I see it. I just want everyone to get along [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by