RIR picking on my polish hen. Barely any feathers on her head! How do I get them to stop?!?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cutlerfam7, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. cutlerfam7

    cutlerfam7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2012
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    I have 28 chickens and they all live in a standard sized shed that we converted into a chicken coop. There is also a run which they always have access to during the day, however, most of them stay inside the coop since we live in Central MA and we got over a foot of snow this past week so its been pretty cold.

    The Rhode Island Reds, which I now consider to be a gang, like to pick on my older chickens (the older ones are just 7 weeks ahead of the others) and it really pisses me off. However, it seems that Ollie has been the chicken of the week whom is being picked on. As you can see they have been pulling at her head feathers and my poor thing is baldish and ugly now!

    It literally is only my tougher birds that pick on certain ones such as Ollie. No one else is getting picked on like this they used to pick on my Leila whom is a Salmon Favorelle but they have moved on to Ollie now. How do I get them to stop? Do I need to seperate the mean-ish birds from Ollie and the others. I have like 7 or 8 RIR that I guess I could put in another coop but I just figure if they all stay together they will be able to stay warm better. My coop is 10 x 12 and they have plenty of room so I dont see how that could be a problem. I really think some of my chickens are just bullies!


    I NEED HELP!

    [​IMG]

    I WANT HER TOO LOOK LIKE THIS AGAIN!
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I feel your pain. I have a Polish roo who has been pecked like that three separate times (I brought him inside, healed him up, but him back outside, they did it again, etc.) so he is now a house chicken. The flock does NOT do that to the only Polish hen - just to Jack the rooster.

    Jack is outside now, all healed up for quite some time, but the weather hasn't been nice enough until today for him to WANT to go outside. He will come inside for the night though; no more nights in the coop with anonymous bullies.
     
  3. cutlerfam7

    cutlerfam7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2012
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    Thank you. I appreciate the comment. I just read another forum that was underneath mine about Forco. Have you heard of it or read the forum? I understand that usually they eat feathers because of a protein definecy but then wouldn't it make more sense that most of them would be like Ollie rather then just having one with no fluffy hair?
     
  4. phalenbeck

    phalenbeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have the same problem with the polish hen on my shoulder. The problem seems to be she resists the rooster, then some of the younger girls peck the injury. I have been using blue coat that seems to help. I hope that the rooster will stop as he gets older, or I may have to make a new pen for the older girls that just do not like boys anymore.
     
  5. cutlerfam7

    cutlerfam7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The pecking as gotten worse. Some of my birds are really starting to get mean and picking on the others. I am hoping this stops soon. I am getting tired of bandaging them up all the time.

    How much protein is too much protein? I have been uping the amount of protein they get but its hard to tell whether they need more protein or if they are just being MEAN to each other because not all of the birds are missing feathers only a few of them get hit the worst.
     
  6. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I read somewhere that birds will sometime pick at the birds top hats (fluffy head feathers dont know what it is called ? ) because it moves and bounces around...which draws their attention. I do not have any birds with top hats so I do not have personal experience with this. You may want to seperate the regular birds and the birds with top hats and see if it helps. If they start in on another bird without the top hats, there is something else wrong.
     
  7. Lisak64

    Lisak64 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2014
    I had the same problem, I have one little sweety with the fluffy feathers on her head and found her bloody and missing feathers on her head and around her tail :( I separated her for a couple days and she was miserable all alone so I put the boss (top of the pecking order) in with her for a few days and watched them closely, she began to mother the injured chick and when I turned them lose with the rest of the flock she the boss would go after any of them that went to peck at her , now all is good in the flock :D
     
  8. pineapple416

    pineapple416 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The same thing happened to our bantam Cochin hens. We had 2 Mottled java hens that were pecking their neck and head feathers out. Their feathers haven't grown back yet so we now have 3 bald hens, but the javas don't do it anymore. If you have a separate run or coop area i would recommend separating the RIRs and the other birds from each other for about 2-3 months. After that put them back together and see what they do. If the head biting continues separate them again and do more research. Separating them worked for us but if it does not work for you then i recommend looking on other chicken blogs or wedsites like Tilly's nest.
     
  9. pineapple416

    pineapple416 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western Washington
    we feed our chickens layer hen pellets which our 16% and they are great, but if your chickens are too thin then you can give them game bird feed.
     

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