Pecking each other

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chick2chicken, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. Chick2chicken

    Chick2chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,
    I started noticing that my chickens are pecking each other tail feathers, the chicken who just laid an egg is doing it more than the others. Is this normal? Do I need to do something?
    thanks
     
  2. KingOfTheCoop02

    KingOfTheCoop02 Out Of The Brooder

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    Perhaps they are hungry... or stressed. Chickens will fight if they are overcrowded and they need feed available 24/7. Of course they could just be bored and there's nothing more fun to do. Maybe you could add some enrichment and fun stuff to do.
     
  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Photos or detailed description of your set up would help determine if this is a problem with the set up (too little space, nothing for chickens to do) as well as feed information would help. You really do not want them picking on each other as it can escalate to real injuries.
     
  4. Chick2chicken

    Chick2chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay so I give them 16% layer feed and its available 24/7, it looks like they have enough space but maybe I could add an extension. They came home about a little less than a week ago so it could be stress. The chickens only peck the very tip of the tail of the others.
    Either way what should I do?
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    How old are they? How many are there? What is the temp? How big is their coop (exact dimensions including height)? How big is their run? (dimensions) What are you feeding them besides the layer feed? Until you answer these questions, no one can help you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  6. Chick2chicken

    Chick2chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    These are the dimensions: 12 square feet of coop space and 32 in the pen (planning to add eight more square feet of roaming space).
    I have 4 18 week old pullets.
    The temperature rests around 7C or 45F.
    I've been feeding them a variety of things including pomegranite, some kale, lettuce and some apples.
    thanks
     
  7. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Both the coop and run are on the tight side. Adding space to the run can help but it also depends on what's in that space. Do they have dirt to roll in and scratch up, plants to pick at, things to climb, space to escape to if one starts picking another - anything like that? Bored chickens may turn to each other as entertainment.

    As far as feed you might want to bump up the protein they're getting. Layer feed is generally lower in protein (16%) and it's being diluted further if the treats they're receiving don't have protein either. They might be getting some from bugs or worms they find outdoors, but it's hard to say without observing them.
     
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Certain breeds require a higher protein in the feed..16% is not enough for many breeds of Chickens....Depending on how and what else your giving in the diet? You may be diluting the protein needs....A chicken would need to eat a lot of bugs in a day to get the proper balance...;)

    Try buying an 18% protein feed.....:)
    Other causes for picking is the Coop is to crowded, too hot, short of fresh air, also coop too brightly lit.....You can put Vaseline on the feathers, chickens hate Vaseline ...;)

    Best wishes..


    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  9. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Young birds who are in a new place will peck at each other as a way of discussing who is the boss of who. Adding space is a good idea and providing enrichment (toys) that mimics foraging for food will help. There are all kinds of ideas on this site on how to keep chickens happy. Provide food stations in different areas at different heights using different types of food. Don't just throw food on the ground for them. You can tie it up so they have to jump for it. Put scratch feed in a clean 16 oz water bottle, put a few holes in it and toss it on the ground and watch them chase it. Or you can tie the bottle at a height were the birds have to get a little bit of exercise to eat. You can hang kale or what ever leafy vegetable you like just high enough to make them work for it. Be sure to provide a calcium source and an occasional source of cooked meat. My chickens get an occasional treat of dry good quality cat food, fresh grass and left overs from my table. Some folks use mealworms as a protein source. Use your imagination to keep your chickens occupied and everyone will be much happier.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Chick2chicken

    Chick2chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, that helped a lot!
     

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