Ok, I've had it with this picking I NEED HELP!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LoneCowboy, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    My chickens (mostly Red Sexlinks I think) are picking my other chickens bald. The SLW's back ends are totally bald, two EEer's are getting that way and the black sexlink who I've seen picking is also getting picked at bad. I've tried everything. BluKote, Stop Pick, chicken saddles, increased protein. I don't know what else to do. I want to put some new girls in the coop with the big girls in a few weeks, but I don't want the bad habits to get passed on. This has been going on all winter and I've been fighting it this whole time. I'm to the end of my rope!! :thun

    Is there anything I haven't tried that I need too? I don't want to trim their beaks, because I think that's cruel, but can you trim them to a point where they will grow back but maybe have a little time to break the habit?

    Oh, I spray their back with BluKote, and then they start picking at their bums. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Do they have enough space? The only time I ever had a problem with pecking feathers was when I had to keep some young chickens in too small of a space for a bit.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    After all that, my guess is also space. If it's not space... boredom for some reason.
  4. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Yeah they've got lots of space. I have 13 hens in a 8X8 coop. Not even maxed out yet. Plus the run is HUGE!! I've added all kinds of roosts and logs to their run, added a branch, tried to hang food up for them. (they are lazy butts and won't play with it) We throw them piles of leaves and goodies to scratch through. I've given them squash with holes cut in the rind so they have to pick at it through the holes to keep them busy. I put in several so that doesn't create more of a problem. I've even caught them picking when they are out free ranging. I think I have a bunch of bullies. They are about to be replaced if they don't knock it off.
  5. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    You just might have to re-home them. I had to do that with my BR sisters who picked on a cochin of mine so badly I thought they had killed her.
    Or, are you able to build the bullies their own coop? I think they just get in that habit and don't quit.
  6. mandomama

    mandomama Songster

    Mar 18, 2008
    corvallis oregon
    I'd go with bearing grease. I've never used it, but it was recommended here and it might be worth a shot.
  7. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Have you tried pine tar?
  8. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Ive used Better Bitters and Bite Stop from the pet shop and that's helped...
  9. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Songster

    Feb 26, 2008
    I'm the one recommending the bearing grease and I promise it will work. Put it on thick. Reapply it as soon as it dries, or wears off until they stop all together. It usually doesn't take more than two applications.

    When those blood feathers start coming in it doesn't take them long to realize that they like the taste. It usually starts when one accidentaly pulls anothers feathers out and the blood pools up. It isn't a room issue at this point, thats only in younger chicks, or older chickens that are in small areas. This happens to most chicks around 4 to 6 weeks. You can end up with a real problem on your hands that if you don't stop now will carry on for the rest of the chicken's life.

    Editing to say that I just noticed that you say these were doing this over the winter, so they are older than chicks that have blood feather problems, but maybe the info will help someone else will little ones. The bearing grease will work on older chickens too, but it can be a harder problem to break.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008
  10. MTtroutwithwings

    MTtroutwithwings Songster

    Jul 10, 2007
    Montana Country
    Hi Lonecowboy,

    I'm dealing with the same thing and it's my red star sexlinks too. It's all around the back areas of the birds were they can't see it coming & defend themselves. Blu Kote, it worthless, it just draws attention! I've been using just plain ol' antibiotic ointment, coated real thick and that seems to discourage it. Just like someone mentioned in a earlier post, use something very thick, the birds don't like it on they're beaks!
    Maybe it the weather pattern, I know it agitating me! [​IMG]

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