ONE HEN PECKING THE FEATHERS AND EATING THEM OF OTHER HENS!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gregory Peck, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Gregory Peck

    Gregory Peck Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2012
    Hi,

    We have 6 hens and one hen who has recently finished a molt has started pecking feathers out of most of the others head and neck region and eating them. We live in a climate that is quite cold it has been aound -30 C (-22 F) for the the last week and they have had to spend alot of time inside their hen house. We have tried providing some stimulus (hanging a head of lettuce, providing leftover salad greens, even hung a cd to catch the light, and scratch grains) and she continues to peck at the feathers. The temperatures have eased up recently so they have been able to get out a little more but the behaviour has continued. She is the only hen that is doing this, and she is not picking on one specific hen, but the majority of the others. We are running out of ideas and with our temperatures we can't very well have hens with bald patches running around.

    We are running out of Ideas! Help!
     
  2. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also had this problem and by the time I rehomed the plucker the other hens had picked up the habit so...I added a young rooster and the plucking ceased!
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  3. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    another thing to try is upping the protein in their diet. BOSS are high in protein and I also give them freeze dried mealworms. Some people on here even raise their own mealworms to supplement their diet.
     
  4. Gregory Peck

    Gregory Peck Out Of The Brooder

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    I have read alot on the issue and I am not sure if it is a nutrition problem (because she is eating the feathers), if she is doing it out of boerdom, or just a bad habbit.
     
  5. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I understand. I read a bunch of suggestions too and until I added a rooster which shook everyone up for a little while...nothing helped. I would spray with blucote, feathers would start to grow back then get plucked again...I added flockblocks, hanging treats and more places to jump and roost and climb and honestly...

    I had the ugliest looking bunch of hens! Now the only hens with any bare spots are the ones that are molting and the 3 that the rooster Loves the most!
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  6. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    last resort maybe but...how about pinless peepers?
     
  7. Mehjr10

    Mehjr10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is eating the feathers for the nutrition, It takes protein to make all those feathers. The other area to look is do they have enough space?
     
  8. Gregory Peck

    Gregory Peck Out Of The Brooder

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    They are in a run that is 6' x 10', but since it has been so cold they were spending alot of time in the insulated hen house that is 3'W x 5' D x 3' H. Adding protien will be the next thing we try.
     

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