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Is this what is referred to as feather picking?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RM44, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. RM44

    RM44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2009
    Woodstock, Georgia
    My 2 week old babies will walk up to each other, tilt their heads like they've discovered some flaw on the other one, and then nip the other's face, eyes, feathers, back, butt, etc. They grab a bit of the other's feather, or peck and pull. So far, they do it once, and then walk away. It hasn't caused a problem yet. They also "spook" sometimes, and will fly in a spurt all the way from one side of the run to the other. I think it's just "teen age" growing pains.

    Any suggestions, insights?
  2. Thortherooster

    Thortherooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2009
  3. RM44

    RM44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2009
    Woodstock, Georgia
    Can feather picking be something that is light, or not harmful? I ask because my old flock (six to 8 months old) did it too, but it was always more of a "grooming" than actually pulling feathers out. The hens would groom each other's backs, but never cause any discomfort or damage, and would never remove any feathers. The same seems to be true of the babies. They take a single peck, almost like they are removing something from the other's feather, and then sometimes the other will do it back, or another bird will come up and do it to the first one, but I've never seen them remove a feather or cause a sore or spot on the chicken being groomed. Even when they groom around each other's eyes, there is never any damage and it doesn't go on for long.

    What can I do about it, or should I do anything about it?
  4. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2008
    They will peck each other when establishing a pecking order. They will also run at each other. But I don't believe pulling feathers is normal. I would check the humidity, temp, and lighting. If you have white light, replace it with red. If it is over hot, reduce heat. Reducing stress should stop the behavior.

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