Pecking issue-What am I missing!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Farmer Kitty, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I have a pullet that is pecking the others to the point of drawing blood. It's just one of 16 chickens pecking.

    I'm feeding a 18% layer ration (has animal protein), scratch with BOSS, suet cake, oyster shells, egg shells, and water. I have tried clipping the very tip of her beak and that didn't stop her-I won't debeak so please don't suggest that.

    Any ideas on why she is pecking or what to do?
     
  2. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    YOu can remove her from the flock for a couple days and but her at the bottom of the pecking order. If this does not help turn her into stew. Once they have a taste for blood they are nasty little buggers.
     
  3. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    can you just fence off a corner of the run and sorta put her in solitary for a while, or with another bird or two that she doesnt bother? Maybe that and give her lots of scrambled eggs for while. I guess this comes out to mean:

    Don't just chop off her head; rather FIRST spoil her rotten and if that doesn't work, THEN off with her head!
     
  4. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I am afraid it may come to the soup pot. I will try removing her. She is locked separate but, in with the others so, I will remove her into a separate cage tomorrow.
     
  5. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good luck, I know it can be hard.
     
  6. Chiiiiiiiiiickens!

    Chiiiiiiiiiickens! Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 26, 2008
    Southern New York
    Can you wait it out and see if the flock dynamics change, or is she out of control? I had this problem with one of the girls, but after a few weeks she seemed to mellow out a little. She is still hell on wheels, but no more blood! It seemed to coincide with the onset of egg-laying. I used to chase her and pin her down when I would catch her attacking the other ladies. I was so desperate to curb her ways, I tried to be the rooster! I doubt it helped, but I was so MAD at her. She is much better now and so am I. [​IMG] Hopefully, your problem is not more serious than mine. Good luck!
     
  7. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    She is rather mean about it. I will try the changing pecking order by removing her but, I don't know. She has been laying since last fall so it's not the on set of laying and those changes.
     
  8. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Often by taking her well away from the other hens for a few days, it changes her place in the flock, when you bring her back, she has lost her high level in the flock. Worth a try anyway.
     
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    If you have just one being the aggressor, you could definitely try taking her out temporarily and see if that helps.

    How much space do they have? Do they free range? If they're locked up, have you tried adding more things for them to do and more places for them to go? Like hanging a cabbage or putting greens in a suet basket. Giving them a dust box to dust bathe in. A saucer or tray of gravel to scratch through for treats. Something like a pile of leaves to dig through. Adding things for them to climb on. Giving them areas to hide. Make it something they can get in or under, but not something they'll get trapped or cornered in. Things that can act like a room divider to break up the visual space is good.

    What breeds are your chickens? Some breeds are more aggressive or docile than others.

    There's always the thread on the googly-eyed peepers, if you get desperate. You just clip them on, to block the forward vision. They still have their peripheral vision. The googly eyes part is just for fun.
     
  10. caralouise1974

    caralouise1974 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have you tried Ukadex spray on the areas of the other birds that she's pecking at? It's absolutely vile, and is reputed to be almost infallible in stopping birds pecking at anything it has been sprayed on. Of course, if she's pecking the others all over, you can't every well cover all of them head to toe, but if it's just their bottoms, for example, spray all the bottoms with this stuff and she'll soon get a shock next time she pecks at them! Euuucckkghh!

    Any wounds or bloody areas on the other hens should be covered with Blu-Cote or Gentian Violet, both to mask the colour of blood (so she won't keep pecking at any 'red bits') and act as an antiseptic.

    I was also told to increase dietary protein when I had this problem with one of my orpingtons, so I fed the girls scrambled egg and drained tinned tuna (not in brine, too salty for the hens - try tuna in spring water) and gave them plenty of live maggots as a treat. I was also told to try increasing their calcium through a supplement in the water and I gave a pro-biotic supplement too.

    And yes, I gave them more stuff to do - hung wire feeders up with treats that they had to work for, bought them a peck-a-block treat feeder, put a mirror up in the run, and added a couple of extra perches to liven up the environment.

    Anything's worth a go...
     

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