Plucking feathers out because stress?

3chickchick

In the Brooder
Oct 14, 2020
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This is my first time ever posting on forum and this is my first time raising chickens. I have so many questions about raising them. I would like to ask for help for my chicken pecking issue.
We have 3 chickens and they are about 24 weeks old now. One is Speckled Sussex and two are Golden Laced Wyandotte. The Speckled Sussex is the smallest but started laying eggs about 10 days ago. I think Golden Laced Wyandotte have not started laying eggs yet because we only one egg every other day. Our Specked Sussex is the smallest but she became bully now and started plucking other two feathers out from their heads and chest. We put Rooster Booster Pick No More lotions on the bare skin spots and seem work fine. She stopped pecking on these areas, but find different areas to peck on. We have 4 feet by 10 feet run including 4 feet by 4 feet sand box. We also add a 25-lb poultry block for them to peck on and a wood swing. First I thought they are too bored inside the run, but after adding block and swing, she still pecked on other two. We are consider to let them free range in the yard instead of keeping inside the run. Our yard is decent size and have grass, fruit trees, vegetable garden. But I am afraid to clip their wings so I still keep them inside the run for now. Our fence are about 4 to 6 feet high. I would like to know how do I stop her pecking others and should I just let them out in the yard during day time and is clipping wings are necessary? Thank you for any advise and suggestion.
 

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MrFluffyandGirls

Songster
Dec 30, 2018
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Oh my! She's quite the little pecker! The space is rather small so it would be hard to add perches and obstacles and extra feeding stations but that is one thing I would advise. So the other two have room for escape.
I would try physically separating the bully in a cage with-in the coop so she can see but not touch/ kinda like a kids time out and let the other two resume normal chicken activity without the harassment. She might be able to settle herself down and regain some composure and patience by watching the other two for a week or so then introducing her back in. That would also boost the other two's confidence in their surroundings.
You can also try the chicken eye blinders. It will keep her from seeing straight on limiting their ability to peck precisely.
 

3chickchick

In the Brooder
Oct 14, 2020
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Hi MrFluffyandGirls, thank you so much for your reply!!
If I cage the pecker inside the coop, the other two can't get into the coop for laying eggs. Will that be enough sunlight for her inside the coop? Thanks.
 

MrFluffyandGirls

Songster
Dec 30, 2018
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SC, Low Country
Hi MrFluffyandGirls, thank you so much for your reply!!
If I cage the pecker inside the coop, the other two can't get into the coop for laying eggs. Will that be enough sunlight for her inside the coop? Thanks.
I would put her in a the run area, like in a wire dog crate. you can put a board or something on top so the other two don't poop on her head if they get on top of it.
Goldie in pen Dog kennel used as pen to break a broody hen.
 

3chickchick

In the Brooder
Oct 14, 2020
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Hi Aart,
The original run attached to the coop is 4 feet wide by 6 feet long and 4.5 feet tall. Then we added additional run next to it. The additional run is 4 feet wide by 10 feet long and 5.5 feet tall. The coop itself is about 4 feet wide by 4.5 feet long. Dust bath/sandbox is underneath it. Thanks.
 

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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
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The additional run is 4 feet wide by 10 feet long and 5.5 feet tall. The coop itself is about 4 feet wide by 4.5 feet long.
Kind of tight. Tho it matches the 4/10 rule of thumb(minimum IMO).
The 4' width is not enough for subordinates to get far enough away from a superior.
You may need more space, or you could just have an overly aggressive bird.
 

3chickchick

In the Brooder
Oct 14, 2020
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36
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We are thinking to free range them in our yard. But is necessary to clip their wings?
And will free range help the pecking situation? Thanks.
 

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