no feathers, broken eggs and one dead chicken

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chicken Nana, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. chicken Nana

    chicken Nana Hatching

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    Jul 24, 2013
    I have only 15 chickens - mixture - 5 Rhode Island Red, 3 black and white ones (you can tell I am knew at this lol), one white hen - Leg Horn and 3 blonde looking ones all two years - and then 3 not even a year old yet. ALL hens but one of the young ones. The young ones are not laying yet.

    Anyway here is my issues:
    1) they all but the new ones have red butts and have had them all summer; At least half of them have other feathers missing back by their vents. They look sick but I have not been able to see any mites, lice or other crawing critters. I also put down twice red lake earth powder in the coop, nest, and pen.

    2)I have been finding at least one egg every other day in their nest that is broke open - not eaten just open.

    3) I came home at noon and one of the blonde hens was not moving very well and some of the red ones (2 in particular) were picking on her so I separated her from the other ones. The next morning she was dead right where I left her.

    4) What do I do with the two red hens that pick on everyone? They are bullies and I don't care for them at all.

    thanks for any advise!!!!
     
  2. Whittni

    Whittni Crowing

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    Southern Utah
    1) They, all but the new ones, have red butts and have had them all summer; At least half of them have other feathers missing back by their vents. They look sick but I have not been able to see any mites, lice or other crawing critters. I also put down twice red lake earth powder in the coop, nest, and pen.

    --I'm guessing the older ones are going through a molt, which is perfectly natural for chickens of their ages. I had a few barred rocks like that back in the day and it took them a good 4 months before they were pretty again. You can speed the process up with higher protein in their diet like mealworms.


    2)I have been finding at least one egg every other day in their nest that is broke open - not eaten just open.

    --I hate when chickens do this, but the only thing you can do is collect the egg before they peck it. I've read somewhere that you can add pepper to their diet and that helps but I'm not 100% on that.


    3) I came home at noon and one of the blonde hens was not moving very well and some of the red ones (2 in particular) were picking on her so I separated her from the other ones. The next morning she was dead right where I left her.


    --She may have been sickly to begin with and the reds noticed. Sorry for your loss but some chickens refuse to fight back at all.


    4) What do I do with the two red hens that pick on everyone? They are bullies and I don't care for them at all.


    --My two reds rule the roost too. You could re-home them or separate them from the other chickens.




    Hope it helps.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing

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    Molting starts at the head and neck. That sounds like feather picking, which is generally due to too little protein in the diet, boredom or too little space. Some people give a lot of fruit and veggie scraps which an reduce the protein, but mostly I believe it is from too little space, or simply not having any grass and weeds for forage.

    I often find a broken egg. I think they squabble over a nest and it gets knocked around. When they all want to use the same nest, if you shells are hard, there isn't much you can do except build rollaway nests boxes -- and hope they will use them. Of course, plenty of straw in the nest is a good idea. If they kick it out or wlallow out a hole down to the wood, you can try some of that rubberized shelf liner in the bottom of the nests.

    I would separate the bullies, one at a time, for a week. Get her out of sight of the rest. Then return her and remove the other one, if she is still bullying. When they reutrn to the flock, they should find themselves at the bottom of the pecking order. Or, I would just make chicken soup.
     
  4. RWise

    RWise Songster

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    Oakhurst Oklahoma
    I have 2 RIR hens both are aggressive! I have cut them from the main flock and they are looking for a new home. I think RIR's are just mean!
     

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