Polish crested getting picked on

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ikemiker, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. ikemiker

    ikemiker Just Hatched

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    Hello,

    We have a beautiful polish crested that came as our "free mystery chick" from Murray McMurray. S/He (not sure yet) seems to get along with the other hens, I never see anyone picking on him, but clearly it's happening at some point when I am not looking because ever since his/her baby fuzz was replaced by real top feathers, there's been a dime-sized bald spot right in the middle. It's always looked a little raw, but today it looks a little bloody.

    Is there any way to deter the other hens from pecking at his/her bald spot? Does s/he need to be separated? I have a friend who has a couple polish hens and has said she will take it if he's a too, but now I'm starting to wonder if Fancy just needs to be with his/her own kind?

    We adore this chick, I want to keep her, and keep her safe and happy. Advice?

    Thanks in advance,
    :) Jen

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  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    There's something called blu-kote for that situation. Most feed stores carry it.

    I wouldn't separate if you can avoid it because reintegration will be harder.
    I would spend more time with them to try and catch who is doing it. It can turn into cannibalism.

    What are they being fed? Describe their entire diet and the protein percentages.
     
  3. ikemiker

    ikemiker Just Hatched

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    They get the Dumor Chick Starter, I give them just about enough so that there's a tiny bit left in the pan by evening. They have access to a very large run outdoors, 16x10 feet, 7 feet tall. Lots of bugs and grass. I give them a fruit or vegetable snack (corn cobs, watermelon rinds, beet greens, lamb's quarters) about once or twice a day.

    Their run has a loft they can fly up to, two swings, two stumps and a long pole, I don't think its boredom?

    I will definitely check out the blue kote!

    :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    It looks to be old enough that your feeding is OK.

    I started having cannibalism a couple years ago. I thought it was rats eating them at night. Each night one of the birds would have had huge areas of meat eaten off their backs.
    I was using a 16% protein organic grower with fish meal mixed in at a 10:1 ratio that made the total protein 20%. When they got to about 12 weeks, I stopped adding the fishmeal. I went into the building around dusk and caught a couple chickens pecking the back of another bird.
    Apparently they missed the animal protein and started feather (90% protein) pecking which turned into cannibalism. I added the fishmeal back in and the problem stopped.
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    To learn who's who in the pecking order, sit still and quietly while your birds go to roost. Every chicken in your flock will give and receive vicious looking pecks as befits that chickens' status in the pecking order. It is quite like little children getting ready for bed to hear and see all the squabbling that goes on with a flock of chickens at bed time.
     
  6. ikemiker

    ikemiker Just Hatched

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    OK, well that brings up another issue.... NONE of my chickens are roosting yet! They all pile up in a corner. I've tried putting them on the roost, but no deal. I might pose this question in another thread.

    :)
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Having a single crested bird in a flock can often be a disaster. Chickens will be drawn to the difference and polish will often get their crest pecked. If it were me and I wanted to keep her I would remove it permanently and get more polish for a second flock. I have had them get their heads pecked open, it's not a good end. If your friend is willing to take it I would choose that route.

    I tried Dumor once and my chickens refused to eat it, I am not a fan of it. I too would recommend feeding 18-20% protein full time, I feed an all flock ration, and a non medicated grower with a separate bowl of oyster shells.
     

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