Pecking problem

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kmo0189, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. kmo0189

    kmo0189 In the Brooder

    Apr 5, 2013
    I have 5 hens all about 1-1/2 years old. I have 3 RIR, 1 buff orphington, and 1 cornish. A few months ago I noticed feathers missing on a few of them. The cornish being the worst of the bunch (missing a majority of her feathers). After researching online I found that a lack of protein might be the issue, so I increased their protein intake, however this does not seem to be working. It doesn't appear that there is just one culprit as all 5 are missing feathers. While monitoring them it appears they will peck at anyone randomly. It is starting to cool down at night here and winter will be here before we know it, so I need to get this issue under control so they have feathers to keep them warm. I'm not sure where I should go from here so I would appreciate any suggestions. If you have any other questions let me know! Thanks!
  2. chikkenfriend

    chikkenfriend Songster

    Dec 2, 2013
    My Coop
    I had a short bout with pecking in the beginning. I figured it was what I read about space and boredom. We had to keep our girls in a good part of the day while working. Too many predators out here.

    Also, it was before I built the bigger coops. They were just crowded and bored.

    How much room do they have? Free range? Now that we can free range, all pecking has stopped.

    Best of luck to ya
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Are you sure they're not just molting, tis the season!
  5. kmo0189

    kmo0189 In the Brooder

    Apr 5, 2013
    I think 1 or 2 of them might be molting as egg production has also just decreased within the past week. The past 2 days when getting home from work to go collect the eggs I noticed the one with most feathers missing in the nesting box. Today when I opened the box she made all sorts of squawking noises and then 2 others came in and started pecking at her. I'm not sure if the right thing to do is to isolate the one being pecked. She is missing most of her feathers now so she is clearly being bullied throughout the day. I am unable to free range them through out the day, but they have a 14X9 run. Any suggestions?


    Just went to shut the girls in for the night and she is still in the nesting box, hasn't moved since I've been home. I think the others might be forcing her to stay in there.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: