Preener or Plucker?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Terrie Mac, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Terrie Mac

    Terrie Mac In the Brooder

    May 17, 2011
    I'm not sure if I have a hen plucker or preener. My buff orpington (lowest in pecking order) constanly pecks at the other hens - and they let her. One in particular seems to like it. I suspect she's doing it for the reward--feathers! Should I remove her for a couple of days or just let her do her thing?

    One head hen has a bare bum, partly from the plucker and partly from a physical problem I had with her months ago. I spray her tush with the purple stain and there are no open sores but the feathers don't have a chance to grow back.

    I have 5 hens, their run is about 100 sqft.

    Diet: manufactured crumbles, one cup of scratch in morning, 1 cup of BOSS in the late afternoon, wheat grass, yogurt.

  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    Its not uncommon for flock members to groom each other. Its also not uncommon for chickens to eat spent feathers. I've never had a pecking problem, but I have noticed that while preening each other, if one tries to pull a feather that isn't ready to come out the other will protest. If you're girls aren't protesting, then she may not be pulling feathers. I think I would isolate the hen with the bald booty and keep an eye on the suspects behavior. If she start picking on someone else, remove her. Some isolation time and lots of protein will help your other hen get her butt fluff back. Good luck!

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