Pecking Order?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chic's Chickens, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Chic's Chickens

    Chic's Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    0
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    Feb 15, 2009
    Monroe, WA
    How long should it take to estabish a pecking order? It has been about two months now and they peck at eachother all the time, eating the feathers. They all pretty much have bare butts and naked areas near tail feathers.

    Here's what I have done so far for my 4 buff hens that started laying beautiful eggs about 2 months ago:

    1. Expaned the run size to 10 feet long x 4 feet wide adding a roost as well
    2. Applied Rooster Booster, which stops it for a day then right back at it
    3. Checked for mites/ lice/ bugs on skin, looks healthy and slightly dusty
    4. Clean coop once a week.
    5. Add treats- yogurt, apples, cabbage, corn- everyother day and scratch everyday


    HELP I don't want ugly chickens! They used to be so beautiful... [​IMG]
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    2 months seems like a long time.
    Are they getting layer food or just treats and scratch? Maybe they are needing protein. Just a guess really. Are you sure it's all pecking, not feather loss from another cause? Good luck.

    Imp

    http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/library/lvstk2/mf2308.pdf
     
  3. Chic's Chickens

    Chic's Chickens Out Of The Brooder

    36
    0
    22
    Feb 15, 2009
    Monroe, WA
    It is just a guess that it is pecking order. They are on 18% protein organic layer feed
     
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Maybe they are just bored. Others here hang heads of cabbage to entertain them, to reduce pecking.
    Are they breaking skin or mostly plucking feathers?

    Imp
     
  5. Chic's Chickens

    Chic's Chickens Out Of The Brooder

    36
    0
    22
    Feb 15, 2009
    Monroe, WA
    Breaking the skin, they actually eat the feathers too...
     
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Chic's Chickens :

    Breaking the skin, they actually eat the feathers too...

    OH! That explains a lot. Seems like once they see blood or the color red they can turn into little cannibals. There's stuff called Blue Kote that you can put on the wounds to hide the red. (careful it stains)

    You need to repost this in the emergency forum. You'll probably need to segregate until they are healed, if at all possible. Keep them quiet and stress free. Will need to clean the wounds, and possibly use antibiotics to lessen the chance of infection. You can use something like neosporin WITHOUT pain medication to aid the healing.

    Check out this thread with wound advice.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=233867&p=2

    Sorry I'm not more help. Not much experience with this. Good luck.

    Imp/Russ​
     

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