severe feather pecking or cannibalism

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jack142, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. Jack142

    Jack142 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2010
    Bennett
    help !!!!!!!
    We started our flock in June 2010. We have 9 birds in a 12' X 8' coop. They are stripping each other of feathers like crazy. We tried more protein in their diet, they have a 12' x 12' run and go outside almost every day. They got scratch, sunflower seeds and what ever we have for leafy greens.
    Their bottoms a tails are down to the skin !!!
    We sold 2 Buff orps that we thought were the culprits but still have bare butts.
    Our wellsumers are in poor shape. The red stars are not much better, and our lone poor Dominique is so so.
    We have more birds in the brooder box now and I am leery of putting them in the coop. The wife and I are thinking we are going to have to get rid of the older birds [[[ Butcher them }}} and start fresh. I am at a lost of what to do ????

    Suggestions please ????

    Thanks Jack
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Are they on a regular feed, layer or flock raiser or something, as well as what you listed?
     
  3. Jack142

    Jack142 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2010
    Bennett
    they are on layer and scratch now
     
  4. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Sounds like you need to up the protein. Feed them some scrambled eggs see if that helps
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    South Georgia
    If they get more than a handful of scratch once a day, it is probably too much, it reduces their total protein intake. This could be what started it all.
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I think I would cut out or seriously decrease the scratch for now to encourage them to eat their layer feed and add more high protien snacks in.

    You could toss a handful of the pellets, if that's what you feed, or black oil sunflower into the run for them to scratch for, just for entertainment for them. If you can get some good, leafy alfalfa hay you can toss a flake into their run every couple days or so. Not only are the leaves high in protein it gives them something to scratch at and eat rather then picking on each other all day.

    I would also try to give them more room in their run if at all possible, especially if you have more on the way that you want to add in. Though it's probably not a good idea to be adding new ones to a flock with a picking problem.
     
  7. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2010
    NH
    just so you don't feel like the only one, I am having the same problem. My girls look terrible, you only need to be around them for a minute and five feathers are gone. I was giving them lots of treats in the winter for something to do, could be the problem, I have reduced their treats, hope it helps. good luck to you
     
  8. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    Absolutely do not put your young ones in with the older ones. How you handle this situation is up to you. You could cut out scratch entirely and feed the highest protein layer feed you can find, maybe give them BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) for extra protein and try the hay thing and see if that helps. Or cull the older flock and start from scratch with the new younger birds, limiting the scratch and starting them off on a high protein diet from the beginning before the feather picking can get started. Also, they need to go outside every day. Chickens get bored and need lots of opportunity to scratch and peck around in the dirt/grass/leaves. Mine get positively ticked if they dont get to free range every day. I hung heads of cabbage in my coop this last winter to give them something green to pick at when there wasn't much green stuff out and especially when there was snow on the ground. You could try that, too. Good luck.
     
  9. stonykill

    stonykill Overrun With Chickens

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    lay off the scratch. Offer them BOSS. I have never purchased scratch, and my flock has never had it. Layer crumbles, cracked corn, BOSS and whatever they get free ranging all day. Think more protein!
     
  10. Chickiegirls2

    Chickiegirls2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2011
    oh man... that is a tough situation... I would say dont put the younger ones w/ the older ones... not good!!
    Good luck!!
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