Pecking - Newbie questions - It's the RIR with the long tail

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by PacsMan, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Salt Lake Valley
    I've got a flock of 12 chickens.

    9 of them are 9 weeks old, and the other 3 are 8 weeks old.

    I’ve got
    5 BR (9 wk old)
    4 Red Sex Links (9 wk old)
    1 Buff Orp (8 wk old)
    1 Australorp (8 wk old)
    1 RIR (8 wk old)

    They've been outside for about a week and a half in a chicken tractor. (Some spring snow – Salt Lake City) But, I let them out almost every day and give them bread and treats and love to watch them play chicken football.

    They're now just finishing their chick starter and moving into the pullet grower.

    The one RIR (has a longer tail than all of them) is getting her rump pecked at. I can’t nail it down to which ones are doing it, so I ~assume~ it’s the other 11 of them. The day I found it, it was a little bloody. I put (O’Mally) in another pen and tried some Blu-Kote type stuff. (it stains just as well as the other stuff!) I put her back 2 days later to see what they would do, and they still pecked. I read here on BYC that Bag Balm would do the trick. So I bought some yesterday, slathered it on and put her in with her sisters just after dark last night. The Bag Balm is all gone today and they still seem to be pecking her.

    But, just her. When the RIR is separated, the rest of the flock doesn't seem to be pecking on anyone else.

    My tractor is small (only 14x4 including a 4x4 house) but I let them out most every day. (And yeah, I'm aware I need to build a 2nd tractor and probably do 6 and 6 birds)

    I try to hang an apple or give them some sort of treat to keep them busy.

    I've turned off the 14 hr/day light to see if that works.

    Questions;
    1) Do I put on Bag Balm every day until the pecking stops?
    2) Should I keep her separated until the feathers grow back?
    3) How long until the feathers grow back?
    4) If I find 1 or 2 'aggressive' ones doing the pecking, should I separate them instead?

    Any other suggestions? [​IMG]

    Could it be because she's the only red hen?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  2. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Salt Lake Valley
    Surely someone has some suggestions....
     
  3. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    Pine tar. Get a can from somewhere like Tractor Supply (it may be in with the horse stuff, they use it for hoof dressing), and an old paintbrush and some rubber gloves and wear old clothes because it always drips and it stinks and it's hard to wash out. Take a plastic bag with you, too, to put the paint brush in after use. If you set it down anywhere, everything will stick to it. Turn the gloves inside out as you take them off, and put them in another plastic bag.

    Get someone to hold the bird, you goop on the pine tar. You don't need a ton of it, and it is sticky, so she'll get dirty fast in that area, but the other birds will hate the taste. I had the same trouble over the winter, and one of my roos got pecked bloody near his tail...my DH held the roo, I dripped on the stuff, and boy did those hens give me dirty looks when they tried to peck him again. I never had to separate him; they left him completely alone. PIne tar is also a mild antiseptic, so it'll help that way, too.

    Good luck!
     
  4. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Salt Lake Valley
    *FWEW* Been waiting for a suggestion all day!

    Is Pine Tar bad for them? I've been reading BYC and most say not to eat chickens that have had pine tar on them.

    I have all laying hens, and they're still 3 months from laying. Are eggs ok to eat after you use pine tar?

    Marty
     
  5. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Salt Lake Valley
    Bought some pine tar (sninky stuff!) put it on O'Malley (the RIR)... most of the chicks seemed to leave her along, but ~she~ keeps trying to clean the stuff off.

    Suggestions?

    Marty
     
  6. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Salt Lake Valley
    Quote:Anyone?
     

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