Possible Pecking Problem

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by stevef, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. stevef

    stevef New Egg

    Jul 26, 2011
    We have three chickens, aged 6 1/2 months, of different breeds. One is a buff orlington, one a rhode island red and the other is black and white. They appear to get along well, but two of the chickens have lost the feathers on their chest and behind (no blood), while the buff, who is the largest, appears fine. We think that she is pecking them. It doesn't sound like molting, although I don't know what that looks like as they have not yet molted. At the feedstore we were advised to put a "peeper" on the agressive hen, but we have had difficulty doing so. Also, we do not wish to punish her if for some reason the feather loss is not her doing. Any guidance? We are fearful that if we do not act soon we will have two bald chickens. Do those feathers grow back after being pecked out? Does anyone know of a vet in Oakland that treats chickens who might confirm the pecking and help put the peeper on?

    An unrelated question concerns their diet. We supplement their feed with lots of veggies, but I was told they also need protein. What do you feed your chickens?

    Thanks for all guidance.

  2. newchickgal

    newchickgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 17, 2009
    Republic of Panama
    My hens get feed, corn and also green veggies (banana leaves and fresh spinach). I think between the feed and pecking on the ground they get enough protein, I haven't seen any symptoms that they are lacking anything.
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Molting starts at the head and neck and works it way down. Usual causes of feather picking are too little space, boredom, and too little protein. Most any supplement you give (such as corn or scratch, or a lot of greens) decreases their protein intake, unless of course the supplement is high protein. If they forage a lot and find lots of bugs, yes this will up the protein some -- but I doubt this is happening to hens who have a lot of forage available.

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