Molt and Bullying

88tinkbell

In the Brooder
Sep 24, 2019
9
17
19
My 4 chickens (2.5yo) are molting for the 2nd time and it seems to be much harder on them this year and taking a lot longer
(we're on month 2+) About a month ago started picking on the Buff Orpington hen, and now she can almost not be out
in the run with the other 3 or the Barred Rock pecks at her. I've had to start feeding her inside the coop separately. It's about
to get consistently cold, so they will be in coop more and I'm worried that their molt isn't done AND they are picking on her too much. I've clipped beaks,
provided boredom busters, etc. but I can't get the bullying to stop. 1. Is it normal for them to be molting still going into December
and 2. How can I get the bullying to stop? We live in SE Wisconsin.
 

88tinkbell

In the Brooder
Sep 24, 2019
9
17
19
I will try and post pics tomorrow...it seems like molting as they have new, better feathers growing in but I am wondering if the others are feather plucking the BuffO.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
13,399
25,244
842
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
Any photos of your set up? Numbers would help too (number of birds, sq ft of coop, sq ft of run). Shouldn't have to clip beaks to stop bullying in a backyard setting. :(

I've had birds start molting in mid December so a late molt isn't the most unusual thing, nor is a bit of picking. If the picking is bad enough that birds are getting noticeably stripped or bloodied then yes that is cause for concern.
 

88tinkbell

In the Brooder
Sep 24, 2019
9
17
19
I wasn't able to get good pics today to post, but I have four chickens in a very spacious run and coop (could safely have a lot more). They are fed a high quality all around feed I get from a local mill -Premium 18% Layer & now that it's cold some scratch. They also get some treats - sunflower seeds, mealworms, grubblies and some veggies/fruit occasionally. The bullying of the Buff Orpington started during the molt last month but seems to have escalated. It appears one Barred Rock has it out for her at all times. Now I am wondering if they are picking her feathers out, I never considered that. There has been no noticable blood on her or in run/coop ever. I checked yesterday and her butt if fluffy and does not seem injured. She seems to get pecked on her sides. Also, for roosting they are all separating to different spots on the roosts and boxes for the last few weeks, which they did last year as well during the molt. Any insights appreciated or advice on what to do to stop this behavior.
 

88tinkbell

In the Brooder
Sep 24, 2019
9
17
19
Thanks for the tips - I've ordered pinless peepers, which I had not heard of or used before.
Do I put them on all 4 chickens, even the one that was being bullied? If I want to separate the one that I think is the biggest problem, can I put her in a crate inside the run during the day? What do I do with her at night? How long would I separate her for?
 

LaFleche

Free Ranging
Sep 22, 2012
3,796
13,655
512
Germany
Yes, you could have her crate in the run during the day and put the crate in the coop at night.
I would keep her separated for two weeks.

There would be no need to put the pinless peepers on the bullied hen, unless you see her plucking feathers off the others.
 

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