My birds apparently have a taste for tail feathers and blood!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Cindychlvr, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Cindychlvr

    Cindychlvr Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2011
    Of 22 birds, about four of them are looking VERY feather pecked. Their tail feathers are all but missing and tonight they were rather bloody. I've been fighting this issued for weeks. I've tried applying Blue Kote and have added Avia Charge to their water. I end up blue myself. The Blue Kote does seem to seal the bloody area, but it seems I have to apply it almost daily...what a pain. I'm to the point of doing some beak trimming with my dog's nail clippers. Any other suggestions? The birds are a combo of RIR and Americauna. Every time I go out to the coop I cringe to see who is bald or bloody.
     
  2. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    You might want to remove the injured birds until they have healed. Many times the others detect the weakness and just keep pecking at them. It's part of the survival of the fittest instinct.
     
  3. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    How large is the coop & run for your 22 birds? What are you feeding them?

    Pecking is usually a sign of over-crowding, stress and/or poor feed.

    Blue Kote is okay but won't stop the issue...Pine tar works well...so does blue kote with some vicks in it...you could also invest in saddles for everyone....as a last resort....
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  4. Cindychlvr

    Cindychlvr Out Of The Brooder

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    I thought about removing the injured ones.

    Their coop is a chicken tractor which allows about 2 square feet per bird in the hen house and 3-4 square feet in the run. They have a diet of kitchen scraps and a commercial feed called Flock Raiser. Soon they'll go on a layer feed.
     
  5. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    I've had some pecking issues too. You can start by making sure they have enough space. Then, add some protein to their diet (scrambled eggs work). I did this and separated the two main trouble makers at night and the problem has stopped. I also introduced my #2 adult rooster (that could have gone wrong but didn't) who puts a stop to any "bickering" between the others.

    Do you have roos in your mix? How old are they?
     
  6. Cindychlvr

    Cindychlvr Out Of The Brooder

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    Where do I get pine tar and is it as messy as Blue Kote?
     
  7. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Pine tar makes blue kote look like water! [​IMG] Pine tar has the consistency of molasses...but it won't get everywhere like blue kote does. You can get pine tar at the feed store--it's used for horse's hooves (sometimes).
     
  8. Cindychlvr

    Cindychlvr Out Of The Brooder

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    The birds in question are about 12 to 13 weeks old. There is possibly a roo in the bunch and interestingly this bird is one of worse off. I do have an older roo who is about 1 year old now. Maybe I should stick him in there? Currently he is with a separate flock.
     
  9. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    A quick way to increase the protein of your flocks diet is dry cat food. It has a much higher protein level. Don't feed it in lieu of chicken feed use it as a treat.
     
  10. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    Quote:Mine were only a few weeks younger when the problems started. I'll tell you now that you will have to closely monitor the roo introduction. I have to freerange them when they are together. My little roo starts the day with a nice display that involves dancing, chasing, and a little tail plucking if the others don't show "respect". [​IMG] After that, he takes them on field trips around the yard to find the best digging places. [​IMG] It may sound like he is being mean but I would much rather have him pluck a few tail feathers than keep finding skinned birds hiding in their coop.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011

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