Pecking Problems

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by roostersandhens, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. My rooster Licorice just got 6 hens. He didn't have hens for a few months, so I rescued him a few. Luckily, even though he only has six Licorice is a very nice boy and tries not to over-mate. Anyways, since Licorice is such a nice boy, he isn't standing up for himself. All the hens, mostly a hen named Lavender, keeps pecking at his feet. They are pecking his feet because he has feathers on his feet, and sometimes Licorice pulls them out (He pulls them out with his beak when he is bored, and sometimes they just come out if he steps on them..) and when he pulls them out his feet bleed a little bit. Do you think that Lavender and the other hens are attracted to the blood? Because thanks to the hens (mostly Lavender) his feet are very very bloody, so I had to put him in a coop that was empty. Is there a way to prevent him from pulling out his feathers, and for them not to bleed and such? If not is there a way to prevent pecking? Do you think after keeping them separate for a few days they will stop?
    Thanks!
    This is a picture of Licorice:
    [​IMG]
    (In the picture he had no hens)


    Oh and I almost forgot Licorice and his girls will be free-range in a few days or so.
     
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    5,916
    544
    341
    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Chickens are really, really attracted to pecking at blood. Keep them separated until his legs are at least scabbed over and put something like Neosporine on his legs. Maybe you could try just trimming the feathers from his legs with a scissors. That would take two people to accomplish. Hopefully that would break the pattern of pecking.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Okay, thanks. But even if I wait until it heals feathers will continue to come out. And about the feather trimming, do chickens have nerves in their feathers? Of so where do the nerves start? I just don't want to hurt him.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,957
    3,122
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    If you cut the feathers off and leave the shaft in place, they will not grow back until the next molt. If they are pulled out, they will grow back.

    If a feather is growing, it will have blood in the shaft. Don’t cut those. If the shaft is not red, it will not hurt to cut it.

    To trim them, just wrap him in a towel or something like that to hold the wings down. You can cover the head if you wish but you don’t have to. Just make sure he can breathe. You can do it by yourself that way and he probably won’t even struggle once you get him wrapped.
     
  5. Okay thanks. He is very tame so he shouldn't struggle even with out the towel. He is a very sweet boy.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by