Should I let them out of the run? Poor little Isa Brown

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by henrietta101, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. henrietta101

    henrietta101 Out Of The Brooder

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    I recently purchased four pullets, two RIR x New Hampshire, one australorp and one isa brown. The australorp is probably 9-10 weeks now and the others are likely aobut 14 weeks old. I was initially concerned aobut hte little australorp with the others being that big bigger, but alas she is fine. The fella that sold me the cross pullets said to keep them in the run for about 2-3 weeks. they have been in the run for around 1.5 weeks. Since Saturday 4 days ago I have noticed the RIRxNewHamps having a go at the Isa Brown. They will peck at her sometimes when she gets close. She is always trying to get out of the run when I go there to feed them, more interested in getting into the yard space than the food. When I make her get back in the two reds peck her. I noticed tonight that she is losing some feathers on the back of her neck. I am not sure if this is where she is getting pecked as I am usually controlling my kids around the chickens than focusing on that stuff and it all happens so quickly.

    1. could the loss of feathers be due to what they are doing to her?
    2. Should I let her into the yard part despite them onyl being in the run 1.5 weeks?
     
  2. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    There is an anti pick spray you should try and yes I would let them out to play. If you want to get them back in sprinkle scratch in the run and they will gladly go back in, or at dusk they will automatically go back in by themselves [​IMG]
     
  3. henrietta101

    henrietta101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Is scratch just their food?
     
  4. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    No it is a treat that is cracked corn and Oats. It's like a drug to them! Can't resist it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  5. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have the room why are you keeping them in? That part doesn't make sense.
     
  6. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Hello!

    If they've been locked in the coop and run for a week and a half, that is plenty of time. From my personal experience, it will be fine for you to let them out. They should feel right at home now, and go back to the coop when it starts to get dark, or if you want them in earlier, just throw some scratch down into the run, and they'll go right back inside.

    They've established their pecking order, and your poor little black hen is on the bottom.......If you let them all out to free range, she will be able to get away from them. They may just be pecking them because they're bored. I would also spray any bald spots she has with a product called Blue Cote. It's bright royal blue, but it takes the attention off of the bald spots because chickens aren't attracted to that color, and also it will help heal any irritation caused by the feather picking.

    You could also put a hen saddle on her if they're pecking her. I've used them. They're cute (hehe), and they reall protect the hen's backs, and they don't seem to mind wearing them either.

    Good luck and enjoy those new hens,
    Sharon
     
  7. henrietta101

    henrietta101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Is a hen saddle something they sell at shops? I will try to find the blue stuff you are talking about. I live in the city so I may have to look online. Poultry is not a popular pet!
     
  8. NanaLantana

    NanaLantana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The reason to keep them in for a while is to acclimate them to their new home. They need to know where they live and sleep, and it happens by habit. They might be getting bored in the run, thus picking on someone. You can clip their beaks - take toenail clippers and clip off a tiny bit of only the top beak. That leaves a little curve that a feather will slip thru, so they can't pull it out. They can still eat properly, it doesn't hurt (if you don't take too much off) and it grows back. Also, moving chickens causes them stress, she could also be losing feathers by stress.

    A saddle is for hens who have a rooster constantly mounting them, tearing up their backs. This does not sound like your case. Try the beak clipping, it usually stops them, as they cannot achieve what they planned! Also, you could pull some weeds and throw them into the run, let them have some work to do.

    Hope all your hens do well, and you thoroughly enjoy them![​IMG]
     
  9. ChickInDelight

    ChickInDelight Never an Empty Nest

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    You can probably get Blue-cote at one of those chain Pet Shops. It is also at Saddleries.

    When you let them out, very likely, the pecking will stop. They will have other things to do of greater interest.
     
  10. binders

    binders Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also had one that was being pecked on a when I let them free range the behavior stopped. They now seem to get along fine. I would try letting them out along with the Blue Cote before I clipped the beak. That seem rather drastic to try before trying the simpler things. I was able to find both Blue Cote and the anti peck spray at my local feed store that deals with mostly horse stuff so you should be able to find it. I remember how worried I was when it was going on and started thinking that the whole chicken idea was a bad one, but now everything is good and the chickens seem happy.

    Good luck and let us know what you do and how it works out.
     

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