Pecking

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jeterman02, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. jeterman02

    jeterman02 New Egg

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    Dec 1, 2012
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    My Silkie, who is at the bottom of the pecking order in my flock, has been bullied by my other chickens, especially by a Golden Buff, and a New Hampshire Red. The silkie has no feathers left on her back from the other hens pecking her, and likes to spend most of her time in isolation. Is there anything I can do to stop these behaviors?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    This might be tough with a smaller, crested bird being the target.

    The "classic" approach is to remove the "bully" or lead hen from the flock entirely for a week -- out of sight and hearing. Then when she returns, she should have to return at the bottom or lower end of the pecking order.
    sometimes people keep bantams and large fowl together without a problem, and sometimes they find they need to separate them.

    There isn;t a single "right" answer, I don't think. There are things you can do to try to distract them. The best one is probably adding lots of space, with forage. You can add things like hanging cabbages or a flock block. You can have two separated food.water stations. You can supplement the diet with protein, especially animal sourced. You can add items to jump or roost on, hide in or under, etc. -- or even just move them around maybe every few days. There are also pinless peepers, if you want to try that.

    I'll give you some links to more reading on pecking and feather picking; maybe you will stumble across something.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/back-to-basic-living-feather-picking-plucking-and-cannibalism

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/697052/i-think-i-found-a-miracle-cure-for-feather-picking/0_20

    Good luck!
     
  3. lady birds

    lady birds Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2014
    thank you for the ideas I found other chickens picking on the "pecked One" so I have put her in a separate station nearby so she can get to food and recover.. she has a big scab on the top of her head and I have been treating that per my chicken literature. In her separated home she is a bit noisy so I hope we get this resolved soon she wants to go back. I know the good part is SHE is eating
     

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