Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Mattake2, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Mattake2

    Mattake2 In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2008
    I have a new flock of RIRs & they like to peck/pluck/snatch the feathers off of one another's backs.

    I've been told to make sure they have plenty of room... I ASSURE you they do.

    My question is... "How do you stop the cycle & get them to re-grow their feathers?"
  2. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    what all do you feed?
    extra protein will help the feather growth..
    you can up their protein by giving cooked eggs, or mix in some unmedicated grower or chick feed..or gamebird feed for higher protein content.

    sometimes when they feather peck, it's for lack of protein, or some other nutrient..stress..boredom..

    if you can observe them closely, and can figure out the ring leaders..separate them from the flock..
    might help calm things down.

    they might need wormed, checked for mites and treated, some vitamins and good food..
    try and get some poultry vitamins..
    and you might check out Avia Charge 2000 at McMurray Hatchery..
    they also have products that might help with the feathering.

    are they cooped? or do you have a pen?
    or do they free range?
  3. Mattake2

    Mattake2 In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2008
    They are cooped & let out to roam about an hour per day. I feed them poultry grain & they get a ton of treats too. I feel like their diet is adequate based on everything I've read here & on the net otherwise. I'm leaning toward the idea that they're bored.
  4. bantamgal

    bantamgal Songster

    Mar 2, 2008
    yes they may be bored or just a thought, maybe they are getting too many treats and unbalancing their diet? well anyway just something I thought of.
  5. CathyB

    CathyB Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    Hi! Mine are almost 5 weeks old and just started doing this. I separated the one whose tail was totally plucked away from the rest and put one friend in there with her. Now they are both angry at me because they want back in with the flock.

    I only feed the starter and maybe every other day some yogurt. I thought their brooder was big enough but maybe not? I am at a loss as to why this started happening now. They poor baby with her totally bare and red bumm makes me so sad. I trimmed some of their beaks a tiny, just to get the sharp edge off but that will not help the feather pulling from what I can tell.

    I told DH he better get the coop and rn to a point that I can put them in there by the end of the weekend but life so gets in the way! Any suggestions would be great!
  6. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    If what you feed has a lot of corn in it, that could be your problem. Corn actually unblances the protein level in the feed causing less protein to be absorbed( I think thats how it goes) Anyhow cut back on corn, up the protien, feed other seeds like black sunflowers etc in with a good chicken feed. As for the plucked areas some people use vasoline, but some chickens like it. Some people use bitter spray, or their are anti pick stuff in feed stores.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  7. broadwing

    broadwing Chirping

    Oct 3, 2007
    Oregon what do you do in this scenario: They're getting daily exercise and have a big enough run & (the boss hen ) has the nice fluffy butt but the other 2 have bald butts. Pecking order #1 and #2 both pick occasionally on #3 (#1 also picks on #2), and they're getting black oil sunflower and lots of outdoor time. I do give them scratch with corn, but mix the sunflowers in. I will try just the sunflowers for a few days and see if it helps. How long does it typically take for a picker to stop? Can't remember the last time I saw 3 fluffy butts in the yard.... Oh, and no roos.

    I put anti-pick stuff on their bald butts tonight and they started picking themselves! I had to reapply goop to #3 because she cleaned herself all off (head flicking in disgust for half an hour).

    #3 is the youngest (Welsummer) but started laying about 2 months ago. She gets runny mutes every once in awhile but the other two never seem to show any symptoms. Sometimes they look normal, other times very liquid. Any thoughts?
  8. chicksnhens

    chicksnhens Chirping

    Apr 6, 2008
    I have the exact same problem with my chickens! There is one chicken with perfect feathers. The other three have bald spots right in front of their tails, on their lower backs. I have tried bitter spray and thick ointment but nothing works. I have tried mixing game bird feed in with their laying feed and nothing has changed. I have sprayed Blu-kote on the bare spots to make them darker and less obvious so that when the feathers start growing back, they don't look like dark spots on the white skin. I thought maybe that makes them pick if they think they are bugs or something. The bare skin is getting really red. I thought it might be lice or mites, but then one of them wouldn't have perfect feathers, right? Anybody have any solutions?? Thanks![​IMG]
  9. I'm wondering if it helps to have several places of refuge in a coop, like extra platforms/ramps. Mine are so busy I haven't had anything negative(yet). 12 6-week-olds in a space 11x 9, but with ramps, three platforms and daily access to a covered run. Newbie.

    I'm finishing up my second bag of starter crumbles and getting ready to switch to grower ration. No treats though they do rummage plants in the run and find a few bugs. Liberal use of DE indoors and out, pine shavings.

    RIR crosses...
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2008
  10. Mattake2

    Mattake2 In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2008
    Great info! Thanks everyone!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: