Pecking problem need advice!

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


11 Years
Aug 12, 2008
San Diego, CA
I have a bunch of babies hatched Aug. 23rd which included two polish. As these babies have grown, I noticed the two polish started getting pecked a bit in their crests and back so I separated them. They are still near the other babies so they can see/ hear/ smell them but are in their own cage to let them grow new feathers without being hassled. That was about two weeks ago. I'd let everyone out to play in the sun the other day while I cleaned both pens and they all got along just fine. Today, my friend was taking her babies home (we were splitting the order) which included one of the polish. They were put in a box together for the trip to her house. The box lid wasn't closed tight enough and one of the others escaped so after we caught her and put her back in, discovered the polish had been pecked so bad she was bleeding and her head was swollen! Took her out immediately and put her in a different carrier. Went to check the one I was keeping that I had put in with the other babies so she wouldn't be alone and found she was getting pecked too! Not quite as badly but still bleeding from the pecked feathers. Both chickens were growing new feathers and looked pretty good but they weren't fully grown in yet, they were still in the casing (like little pins).

So here's my question, were they separated too long and the others were just reestablishing pecking order or were they going after them because of the new feathers growing in or is this something that is going to happen no matter what because of their crests? DH really wanted a polish chicken and so did BFF's DS which is why we got them. I want them to be part of the flock but are they always going to get beaten up? I have an older mixed flock (see my sig) that I was planning to merge the babies into. I'm worried I can't do this now. What should I do with these poor babies? The other problem with the really badly pecked girl is what first alerted me there was a problem two weeks ago was it looked like she was limping. After pulling her out, discovered it was more like she was off balance. While the feathers recovered, this problem persisted. Could she have gotten brain damage from getting pecked before? And if so, how much worse could it be now after being pecked again? Her poor head is really bruised and swollen, there isn't a visible open wound, all the blood came from the broken feathers, but I'm wondering if I need to cull her? If I do go that route, what do I do with my lone polish that I put back in the little cage?

HELP!!! Don't know what to do! Is there anything I can do for her head? I can't cover it like I did with my EE that had her tail pecked and is now wearing a blanket. ACK! Stupid chickens.
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Polish birds get picked on because of their top hat. It is not recommended that you put polish with other chickens . . . .You may need to keep the polish separate Forever because of their darling little tophats SHOUT " pick on me, pick on me"
I was told by a friend to put apple cider vinegar in their water from the time they are chicks. 1/2 cup per 5 gallons. This is supposed to minimize or eliminate pecking each other. Not sure about the science behind it. We have not had any problems with pecking, but we don't have any polish either...
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i always have to remind myself....SOME ONE'S GOTTA BE AT THE to say but i think seperated for good would be the end of your pecking problem....

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