Peepers to stop pecking--am I hurting my birds?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JayByrd, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. JayByrd

    JayByrd New Egg

    Dec 6, 2010
    I have 3 small flocks of chickens, and 2 of the flocks were picking bald patches into some of their members, so I bought some hen bits and some poly peepers. I thought I'd try the bits on one flock and the peepers on the other to see which were more effective. I'd tried > protein (with cat food, yogurt, milk, cheese, peanuts...), giving them veggie scraps, tether cabbages, sprays, insect sprays and powders, isolation, outside time, scattering most of their feed outside on the ground so they have to hunt and scratch for it, even totally free ranging them, all to no avail, and I couldn't identify the culprits themselves. The bits worked perfectly on one flock, and I have never seen them so feathered out and healthy. I can't resist petting them since their back sides are so soft and glossy. (They run when they see me coming with that affectionate gleam in my eyes now!) Even my naked necks are fluffy! But I couldn't get the poly peepers on any of the hens in the other flock, so I put the hen bits on everyone in that flock as well. Although the bits helped a little, at least for a while, some of the chickens kept their bald patches, and recently the patches have increased in size and nearly all the chickens now show at least some sign of picking.

    So now I'm looking at the poly peepers again, but I still can't get them onto the chickens. They have a flexible plastic pin that is supposed to slide into one nostril and out the other. But it feels like I'm running into a septum or a tissue/cartilage barrier, and the chickens act like I am too. When I insert the pin they obviously don't like it and start to fight, (who wouldn't?) but when I push against the septum they go absolutely berserk, and I'm obviously hurting them. My question is: Do chickens have a septum? If so, am I supposed to just force the pin through anyway, knowing that they'll recover and be better off in the long run? Has anyone used peepers before? Did they work?

    I really like my girls, and this flock has the most consistent and best layers I have, and I want them to be happy. They are breaking my heart! About the only thing I haven't tried yet are cloth or duct tape saddles, but that sounds like it'd just give them something new to pick at and obsess over. Any suggestions? I'm out of ideas!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by