In the Brooder
- Apr 30, 2009
In March we found out my wife was pregnant so I confined the chickens as they were pooping everywhere(favorite hangout is our porch). We also have had a few run ins with Coopers Hawks and have a pair of them currently nesting in our pine trees. They have an enclosed run which measures about 17 x 30 and an 8 x 6 coop. Once I confined them I noticed that they became more aggressive with each other. I have already tried pine tar prior to confining them with no luck due to some feather plucking. I then ordered Avia Charge and started feeding them 4 hardboiled eggs mixed with Purina Layer Pellets each morning. This helped initially, though after confining them they seemed fine until about a month ago. They started eating feathers again so I tilled their dirt and increased their egg intake with no luck. At that point I ordered pinless peepers and hot pick spray. This worked for about two weeks and then it started again. For the last week there are only 9 chickens that come out of the coop on a regular basis out of my 10. The one that will not leave the coop stays in the nesting box on a regular basis, she even roosts in the nesting box. When she does come out of the coop the other chickens, mainly 3 of them, attack her like crazy. 2 of the 3 have the least feathers of any of the chickens, mainly around the neck area. I have my theories on this, they are attacking each other to determine who is mother hen. The chicken that is in the nesting box, does seem to have a dry comb as well as what appeared to be some chipping on her beak above the pinless peepers. She contiously clucks loudly and appears to be healthy. She is eating and drinking when I intervene and shoo the other chickens away from her, though I have to take her out of the nesting box. They will run her down and grab her by the back of the neck. Tonight I removed her blinders to give her an advantage over the other chickens and try to coerce them to coexist. They were dusted for mites the day after I put pinless peepers on them and I have been inspecting them and see no mites and no worms in their poop. So is she sick and the other chickens know it and I do not, or do I need to thin my flock? I am really trying to avoid thinning my flock. The only thing I have not tried that I have read on here is hanging salt pork in the coop. Any help or ideas are greatly appreciated. I have 10 production reds, all hens - no roo.