SEVERE feather Pecking. What do I do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by basketballndl, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. basketballndl

    basketballndl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2010
    I've recently removed my Silver Gray Dorking from the flock of 9 hens and 2 other roosters. The hens(not the rooster) viciously attacked Alvins tail to the point where he had no pin feathers and exposed flesh. I was mortified by what his bottom looked like. Luckily it did not effect him using the bathroom. We made a makeshift home for him in our garage. About a week later the hens targeted the other rooster, Sal. I took him out of the coop to freerange around the yard for a couple of days to see if things would heal. While he was out, They targeted my third rooster, Little Roo. I don't know what to do. All hens, especially the Rhode Island Red's just don't leave them alone. I love having the roosters because i love hatching my own eggs in the Springtime. ANY SUGGESTIONS????
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    First- I'd get some Hot Pick/No Pick and spritz it on the boys. If that doesn't work there is a product out there called pinless peepers, which are a little head gear type thing that slips over a bird's face to prevent picking. I have never used them, but they come highly recommended by many folks here. You need to stop the picking before it becomes cannibalism.

    Second- I'd look at their diet. A lack of protein can cause birds to start picking and eating feathers. I'd up their protein intake by adding some yogurt, BOSS, bits of meat, small amounts of cat food, meal worms, and maybe switching their feed over to a grower formula for a while.

    Third- They have enough room, I presume? Chickens need 2 sq ft/ bird coop space and 10 sq ft/ bird of run space. Crowding can cause this undesirable behavior. If they have enough space then I'd look at getting them some chicken toys to keep them entertained. Boredom can also cause this. Hanging heads of cabbage so the birds have to work at getting them is worth hours of chicken entertainment. Flock blocks can also be a great boredom buster. Scratch thrown around in with some fallen leaves in the run will also keep them busy.

    Hope this helped. Good luck.
     
  3. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    KY
    Adding on the previous post, never introduce just one bird into an established flock. That is just asking for trouble. The larger number of birds you introduce, the less they are likely to pick on any one bird.

    When you do introduce them, do so in a free-range environment. This gives the new bird somewhere to run from the attacks.


    Also, how old are the birds? Intoducing marginally younger birds can sometimes cause things such as this (i had that sort of experience myself. I lost 2 of my precious babies due to that very thing).
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    That's one reason I don't have RIR. Any more.
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I would say you have some very bored, cramped birds with nothing to do but fight. You might see about downsizing your flock and providing them something to do other than eat each other.
     

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