Polish self-pecking? new to byc

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by upriverchickens, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. upriverchickens

    upriverchickens New Egg

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    Apr 15, 2012
    Mequon, WI
    Hi to all- new member of byc, but have frequented site for a year now. 22 girls of various breeds, 4 boys. (photos at some point-stay tuned) ***Looking for help solving problem: 3 white crested black polish all suffer from self-pecking (or mistaken identity?) bloody tail feathers and completely backless of feathers now :( not mites or lice- every other bird in coop is fine. (even other polish-all white, buff laced) have tried extra protein: eggs, bacon, cheese. tried busy work: squash, melons, scratch blocks, hay bales tried blue cote for relief- thought we turned a corner and see new growth, but today have a chicken in the house in solitary confinement. need suggestion to stop problem or at least stop bleeding so she can go back to coop. Many thanks in advance!
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Are you suggesting that they're doing this to themselves? Or that the WCBP are doing it to one another???
    I would think that others are doing this to them, unless you're telling me that you've watched them and it's not so. I don't have polish, but have read that many have problems keeping them in standard flocks. Makes me wonder if something about the color combination, plus them being different, is drawing out bullies...or a bully. If it's a bully issue, you can handle that. If it's several birds, you may need to try pinless peepers.
    Another thought...four roosters is quite a bit for 22 hens, so I wonder if that could be part of it too. You could really get by with 2 roosters just fine if you're wanting fertilization. Polish are pretty docile, so it makes me wonder too if they're being overused by the roosters, since they're often more submissive.
    I would definitely spend some time just observing your flock to find out your flock dynamics...
     
  3. upriverchickens

    upriverchickens New Egg

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    Apr 15, 2012
    Mequon, WI
    4 roosters are in individual confinement units separate from the hens,girls live in their house with one capon. I think you may be right about a bully. I had a white cochin with the same infliction today. The little polish may be getting picked on and because there are 3 look a likes- they all get it. I did read that corn starch will help stop the bleeding and we've applied blue cote to the cochin. Thanks for all the feedback!
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    You're still going to have to find out who the bully is though. Find 30 minutes or so a day/evening to sit outside and watch them. If it's just one bully, you can pen her separately for a week or so (in a dog crate or other place). Often times they lose their ranking (and bully attitude) in the flock when put back in. But if it doesn't solve the problem, you will probably need to rehome the bully. Many people have ended up with dead hens from bully issues. In some flocks, once blood is drawn, the others are attracted to it, which can result in canibalism.
    I hope things work out for you...
     

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