Pinless Peepers! Help!

Mzweeres

Hatching
Jun 8, 2020
7
0
6
Mobile, Alabama
Help! I have 12 chickens. They are all 6 weeks old. 3 different breeds. I have 4 (pictures attached) that are bullies to the other 8 and each other. I have tried everything. Even the purple rooster booster stuff. Right now I have had to separate them from the other 8 but they are still even trying to bully each other. My question is this... Can I use pinless peepers on these 4 girls? I have done research and people have good luck with them it seems. They are 6 weeks and pretty big. Not full grown of course but pretty big. The pictures don't do their size any justice. I love these guys so much and they are beautiful, but they are so mean! Friendly to me just not their feathery friends. Can I use the peepers? Will it hurt their noses? It says they aren't supposed to hurt at all. I just need advice! Thank you!
 

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oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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How big is their pen? At their age they need lots of room to run and burn off energy or else they will start to peck each other out of boredom and frustration.
 

Mzweeres

Hatching
Jun 8, 2020
7
0
6
Mobile, Alabama
How big is their pen? At their age they need lots of room to run and burn off energy or else they will start to peck each other out of boredom and frustration.
Well they have a pen that is 12x8, so 92 square feet. Apparently ALL that room was not enough, so last night I finally had to take them out, and put them in an extra large dog cage. I have no where else to put them at the moment to keep them away from the others. The other 8 are still in their outdoor pen and get along fine with each other. That's why I am considering the peepers for now so I can put them back out with the others.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,528
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Wisconsin
Hopefully someone who has used the peepers can help.

It may help to keep them penned away for a while, sometimes once those behaviors start they are hard to stop.

I'm assuming they are getting any extra heat anymore, and that they are eating a good chick starter?

Do they have things to do in the pen? Roosts? Sod clumps? Holes to dig in? Things like that?
 

Mzweeres

Hatching
Jun 8, 2020
7
0
6
Mobile, Alabama
Hopefully someone who has used the peepers can help.

It may help to keep them penned away for a while, sometimes once those behaviors start they are hard to stop.

I'm assuming they are getting any extra heat anymore, and that they are eating a good chick starter?

Do they have things to do in the pen? Roosts? Sod clumps? Holes to dig in? Things like that?
That's what I am worried about. Its just these 4 only. They are just so mean to the others. I don't get it. They still have the heat lamp in their actual house/coop that is connected to thier pen. They are on starter grower still. I also give them a lot of mealworms. They love them! They have roosts inside their house and in their pen, there is plenty of dirt to dig, scratch, dust bathe, etc. I even put cardboard in their house with different colored stickers attached to it for distraction, which they pecked the crap out of lol. Nothing is keeping these 4 from being mean to the others. ☹🐔
 

coloradowildflower

Crowing
12 Years
Jul 12, 2008
319
198
261
Utah
Yikes! You are doing the right thing intervening! I am a big fan of pinless peepers if the chickens are drawing blood?

5 steps I recommend for picking problems:
1-Blu-Kote (a purple spray that both disinfects the area and hides it from other chickens.) Cover areas that have been picked. Be careful, it will stain your hands and clothes if sprayed on them. It seems to make the other chickens blind to the picked areas.
blukote.jpg


2-Address overcrowding/boredom issues (for boredom: try flock blocks, a head of lettuce, make sure they have a good dirt-bathing area etc.)

3-Check nutrition. Are they getting enough protein?

4-If, after a few days, you're not seeing feathers pushing back up in that area, they're still picking and you'll need aprons/saddles for 2-3 weeks. These help because the pickers can't get to the feathers and the pick-ee's can heal. I've also made little "jackets" out of old socks if the birds are small enough and the socks are big enough. The best deterrent to picking is a healthy, full set of feathers.

hen saddle:apron.jpg



5-Alternatively, and also if it's too hot in your area for them to wear saddles comfortably this time of year, or if you remove the saddles and they turn back to picking even if you've looked at overcrowding/boredom relief/nutrition, I've had great success with pinless peepers left on for 1-2 months. This is for the pickers, not the pick-ees. That means you'll have to observe and see who is picking, then give them the goggles for a few weeks, then they seem to stop doing it and goggles can be removed.

pinless peepers2.jpg

The trouble is they may still be too big for your 6 week-olds. There are a couple different styles, so you could try to get the smallest type and see if those work. You would need to be careful that they don't block the nostril completely. Most likely the bigger type will just fall off. Like I said, they work very well to stop picking in adult birds.

After these steps, if you're still having picking problems, you may need to look at removing your pickers from the flock, but I've never had any problems after implementing these 5 steps. Good luck!
 

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