Pecked hen with bare back: UPDATE on making a duct tape saddle

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SeaChick, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    If anyone is having trouble with bare pecked backs, try this solution. We addressed the probable underlying causes (protein deficiency and boredom) but the bare-pecked back of the victim was too enticing. We kept her indoors till feathers starting coming it, but it still needed protection.

    We tried making a cloth saddle for our pullet, Rita. It didn't stay put well enough to protect her from the bully pecker.

    I'd heard of making a saddle of duct tape... being desperate, we gave it a try. I used plain white duct tape. It has been on over two days and seems to be working well. I put the cloth saddle on over it but I think that's probably unneccessary.

    This morning I decided to check underneath it to make sure her pecked areas were not infected, and tried to cut away a bit of the tape. It is STUCK very tenaciously to the feathers.... so I don't know how it will be to remove it.

    This web site: was just emailed to me today. It's basically what I did. They say they leave it on till it falls off on its own.

    Hope this will help someone!!!
  2. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    Thanks- I may try this!
  3. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    I did try this tonight. My Salmon Faverolle rooster that I doctored the frostbite on was being pecked to death by my hens. He had started bleeding on his back so we tried the duct tape saddle on him and on a hen with a bare back. I'll keep you posted on the outcome of this.
  4. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Mine is still working well. My hen is fully integrated back into the flock and the saddle is doing its job. It's looking kinda ratty after numerous dist baths, but still hanging on. I monitor it a couple times a day and will replace it if it falls off too soon.

  5. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    I was able to go out and take some pics of them this morning. The duct tape is very wide and white. I'm not sure what it's called but it is very sticky.



    I am very glad you posted this idea seachick. I tried rooster booster and it only worked for a day- the next day, they had his back pecked bare and had drawn blood. I believe they would have pecked a hole in him by today. I used this as an emergency last resort and I think it will work. Thanks for the advice!
  6. Trevi70

    Trevi70 In the Brooder

    Jun 30, 2010
    I have one SLW that has been pecked so bad she has no tail feathers and a bare spot is beginning on her back. After several people advised me to see what happens (maybe the other chickens would stop on their own) I noticed she had some blood on her feathers this morning. With a blizzard going on out there I can't put her in a coop all alone- she'll freeze! I can't put her in a cage in the basement- the dogs sleep there. WHAT DO I DO?! I don't want to loose her, obviously. I saw the tape suggestion but the bare spot is mostly her tail- can I cover that with the tape too? And the tape just falls off eventually? It sounds like it'd rip out more feathers then it would save...

    I'm new to chickens... this is our 1st winter. It is true that they peck each other because of a protein deficiency? And if so how do I remedy that? Red meat? LOL Seriously- HELP!
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    might be a little tricky doing her tail but it could be done, sounds like you don't pull it off just let it fall off on its own. Good luck! and yes protein defiency and bordem try mealworms, yogurt, meat in small quantities, scrambled eggs, cheese. Just read an article about buying beets greens and all and hanging in the coop for the birds to work on. even a small head of cabbage would be good. I have a flock block in mine and they have been working on it for quite awhile. Hope this helps.
  8. tammye

    tammye Songster

    Mar 22, 2010
    she will have to be separated from the other hens if she has blood on her, they will peck at the blood and cause a wound, which will cause more pecking. Put her in a dog crate with hay/pine shaving about 4-5' thick so she can keep warm, with food and water also. I also have a feather plucker in the group, I have tried in the past to isolate the one being picked on, but , now I am isolating the feather plucker until all feathers are grown back on my poor Lucy, she has a large bald spot on her back side and it is getting quite cold/freezing up here in NH. I have put a flece lined hen apron on her to help protect the bald area, she hates it so now I am putting Utter Butter on the bald spot, says in has frost bite protection to it, hope so, now everything sticks to her, this has been a long drawn out problem. I may have to debeak my little feather plucker, I don't want to do it but I am running out of options, any suggestions out there?

    Also, how do you debeak a grown hen and no I will not cull her, she is a great hen with a bad habit
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    since you have her in isolation she might be lower on the pecking order when you put her back, hopefully that will help with the pecking problem
  10. which hen are you referring to Miss Lydia?

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