New chicks - appear to have a feather plucker

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by wolfpup, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. wolfpup

    wolfpup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2013
    Hi guys

    Back for more advice please. Three days ago I got three new hens to add to my two ex batts. The new hens all POL are:
    1 x black rock, 1 x speckedly and one x blue ranger (bluebelle).

    I separated the run, and put the old girls in a temporary coop (large dog crate) and the new girls in the coop and sectioned off run so the old girls could not get at them (I do not have facilities for completely segregating them - but got the new girls from the same place as the ex batts).

    The new girls spent the first two days in the coop - only venturing outside for a drink or something to eat. Today they all came out and I noticed when I cleaned the nest boxes out that there were 5 feathers there - four from the speckledy and one from the blue ranger. The spekledy now has no tail feathers at all - and whilst I was sat watching them I noticed the blue ranger pluck a feather from speckledy and eat it.

    They can see the two old girls - but my ex-batts can not get at them.

    I am at a loss as what to do. The ex-batts will immediately go for the spekledy hen's bum - I've noticed even when she walks past them they try to peck at her bum through the fencing. There is no blood yet. Yet I can't really leave her with the blue ranger.
    I do not have anywhere to put her - or the ranger. I have not seen the black rock pay any sort of undue attention to the speckledy.

    I would ideally like to take them both back to Happy Chicks where I got them and replace them with two more black rocks as I feel that the spekledy will always be picked on by the ex batts as soon as I try to integrate them - but wanted to ask more experienced folks advice please.

    If I leave it too long then there will be more trouble when I try to add in two new black rocks with the one already there. The two ex-bats do not appear to have a problem with the black rock (nor the blue ranger in all honesty) but I dont want a feather plucker - nor do I want an unhappy little spekledy (by far the smallest of the three).
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Feather picking is a habit, so it may be too late, but it can also be just a sign of a protein or salt deficiency. I'd give them some cat food (dry) or scrambled eggs for protein. With salt, chickens need about 0.5% of their feed as salt, so if you are feeding a chicken feed that has been commercially prepared, it probably isn't a salt deficiency. It is easy to overdose them on salt.

    You can put pinless peepers (chicken blinders) on the plucker as a last resort. They she won't be able to see right in front of her to pluck.
     

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