Pine Tar To Discourage Pecking?


14 Years
Dec 30, 2007
HI there,
I'm wondering whether you think dabbing a bit of pine tar on the area will discourage pecking by others in my 4-week old group. (Story below.)
Is it safe for babies? Does it work? Should I bother with it? Or will this situation resolve on its own?


I've got six almost-4 week old chicks that we have raised indoors (ordered from Meyer's) and just last night we put them outside, in a "kindergarten coop" which is a separate area INSIDE the main coop, separated by a dog x-pen with chicken mesh covering it. This has worked for us for years; they can get to know the big girls (3 barred rocks) without any real interaction and have their own food and water and stay safe.

So this morning all was well, and I checked again at 1 pm and one of the Buff chicks had a bloody patch on the top side of her tail. As I watched, the other chicks surrounded her and pecked at it. I am assuming that she was too close to the fencing and one of the big hens nailed her. Not much damage; just kind of bloodied the base of a new feather. I brought her in, cleaned her up, and gave her a spritz of BluKote, which I've never had to use before (THANKFULLY!) but I know is widely recommended here on the BYC board.

I gave her some alone time in the brooder (which thankfully was still on the dining room table, all set up with food and water) and she's fine.
DH and I tried to put her back with the baby flock just now, and as soon as we put her in the "kindergarten coop" the other babies went right back to pecking at the purple spot. We took her back out, but I am worried about re-intergrating her back into the flock. She's dreadfully unhappy being alone.

Did I do the wrong thing by using BluKote? What do I do now? It's gentian violet, right? It won't wash off..... so now what do I do?

Thanks in advance!
Blukote is something else, isn't it? It takes sometime to wear off. I've used it in some applications on birds and dogs. Two uses wer3: One horrible neck wound to 6 month EE, deep to the bone, after it had nearly healed help keep flying pests away and her from preening it. This hen is now 7 years old. And, to keep my Dalmation from chewing after an allergic reaction to a weed gave her a horrible rash. It was nearly a month before the dye began to fade, even with weekly bathing. I uusually remove bloodied birds till they heal, put them where they can be near flock or others in their flock, and know that even though they pace to find a way out it is much safer for them. I use saline wash, bactine liquid, betadine,for cleaning and treating wounds and bitter apple product to prevent pecking on the specific area. Healing is surprisingly fast in my birds.

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