We have 4 chickens (all females), all 16 weeks old. Two are Easter Eggers, one is a Buff Cochin, and one is a Cuckoo Marans. One Easter Egger: Lucille 2nd Easter Egger: Squirrel Buff Cochin: Bella Cuckoo Marans: Wild Thing The last couple of days I've seen Lucille pull out the soft under-feathers from Squirrel's tail area and eat the feathers. Of course Squirrel doesn't like this. Unfortunately, Squirrel is the smallest, slightest chicken of the four and is nervous, skittish, and runs away quickly. So, she will not stand up to Lucille; she just sqwaks and runs. But Lucille keeps going back for more and it's just a matter of time before the upper tail area is bare and bleeding. It hasn't come to that yet. So far it's just Lucille on Squirrel. Lucille isn't doing this to the other two and the other two aren't bothering Squirrel. I have been told that this could be a nutritional thing and so I've started giving them a pile of black oil sunflower seeds to see if that's why she's eating the feathers. I don't know how long a nutritional deficiency can take to correct itself if that's the case, and I'm afraid that the habit, even if started because of nutrition, can be continued even after the nutritional aspect is corrected. So, what I have done so far is lock Lucille in chicken jail. This is a large (adult Akita-size) dog crate that is placed inside of the predator-proof section of the run. That section of the run has a roof on it so she has shelter, food, water, sunflower seeds, and a perch. While she is in there the other three chickens are relaxed and are quietly going about their business of looking for worms. I considered putting Squirrel in the crate in order to see if then Lucille starts to peck on Bella, who I think would be next in line (Wild Thing is very large and I think she is the top bird). But Squirrel is so hard to capture and she's wily and wary - it's more difficult to get her to go into the dog crate. It's not impossible - a handful of meal worms and a helper would probably do the trick but Lucille is so docile to me and easy to persuade that she just wandered into the crate while I was trying to see if I could get Squirrel to go in there. So I shut the door because for now they are separated. Do you guys have any suggestions? Do you think if I removed Squirrel from the flock that this will stop? Or will I have to remove Lucille? The best outcome is for it to stop but I need to know if I'm separating the right chicken for that to happen. Lucille, Bella, and Wild Thing are all large, beautiful, healthy looking birds while Squirrel is the smallest, thinnest, and is difficult to handle. I would prefer to give Squirrel away if it's just between Lucille and Squirrel but not if it means that Bella is the next target. I don't want to lose two birds ultimately. Since I have only four I need to make the right decisions the first time.