Stop Vent Pecking?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SeaShell741, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. SeaShell741

    SeaShell741 Out Of The Brooder

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    I thought that my chickens my be prolapsing, then I thought that a predator was getting into the coop, but then I realized that they are pecking each other to death. I have lost 4 chickens to what I think is vent pecking....I find them dead with gaping bloody vents! I checked my other chickens and a couple of them were missing lots of feathers and had peck marks near their rear ends. I sprayed all of them with blue-kote. Is this something that I need to do regularly? Is there anything else I can do to stop this habit? What kind of things can I give them to keep them from getting bored? Thanks so much!
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I had some damage to some hens and assumed the roo was being too rough... until I found a featherless vent. I got some pinless peepers after observing the flock and discovering that the majority of the picking was being done by one bird. After applying them to one bird I noticed a radical reduction in the damage being done. Last night I applied the peepers to several other birds because I noticed that the habit is spreading like wildfire. My birds have plenty of room, lots of amusements, and a protein-rich diet. There's no reason for them to be picking, but they are.

    I would recommend you get some of the peepers. I also recommend you do some observation time of the flock and try to pick out the biggest offender. The offender(s) need to be removed ASAP. You are in danger of losing more birds if this habit is not nipped in the bud. Separate the offenders and load them up with protein. Maybe a couple days of segregation and some protein loading will break their nasty habit. They will drop in the pecking order by being away for a few days, and hopefully will be so busy jockeying for their former positions that they will be too busy to pick at vents.

    Do you have enough space? Cannibalism is usually a stress reaction to crowded conditions. Hanging vegetables and flock blocks are good sources of amusement. Handfuls of BOSS in the coop can keep them busy for quite a while. BOSS will also help address any lack of protein issues.

    Hope this helps. If it's any consolation a lot of us are going through the same issues. I was just saying this past summer that I have never had to deal with feather picking... opened my mouth too soon apparently.

    Good luck.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. scbirdfarm

    scbirdfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We put Apple Vinegar in their water when they start doing!!!!
     
  4. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How big is their coop? I am new to chickens also, but thank god my coop was built by a seasoned chicken owner, he knew to make the coop big enough for the girls to be comfortable in the winter, since they stay in for 3 months. Some coops I see are small and if the chickens are staying in due to poor weather, they will begin to fight due to close quarters. First, you need to separate anyone with a wound, until it heals, chickens with go after blood like no tomorrow. Try adding some protein to their diet, like BOSS( black oiled sun flower seeds) I also read here that dried cat food is high in protein. Give them whole apples, pears, lettuce, ect.. for them to pick at, you can put a bail of hay in the coop for them to kick around, gives them something to do. Good luck
     
  5. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hey cmv what are pinless peepers? I have a feather plucker in the dog house right now, she is relentless.

    also, what does apple vinegar do? I could use some help in this department also, Thanks
     
  6. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    CMV, I thought the pullets had stopped this non sense but was inspecting the birds last evening on the roost & it looks as though their still pecking. Don't mean to butt in Sea shell . I've tried everything but today I swear if you can tell me where you got your peepers I will buy them. I have no more options left. Here's what I've tried Moved the cockeral to another coop. ACV has been added to the water since day 1.Fed them Manna pro Poultry Conditioner,Venision,Boss, Flock Block,Fish, Greens & Kale from the Garden. I have put rooster booster Medicine & Blu/Kote on Pecked area. You name it I've done it except the peepers. Help!!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  7. SeaShell741

    SeaShell741 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 28, 2010
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    I'm curious about the apple vinegar also...how much should I use?
     
  8. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    seashell: I just typed apple cider vinegar into thre search engine and found some good sites on the use of ACV and pinless peepers. Good luck
     
  9. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    http://www.eggcartons.com/search-exec/

    Got mine here. I love these guys! I ordered them 2 days before Christmas and got them the next day. I didn't use the snap pliers. I just applied them with my fingers (I'm tough). I am thrilled with them so far.
     
  10. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do they come off? can they hurt the bird?i have only seen instruction on how to put them on. CVM, what part of NH are you in, I am in Lebanon
     

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