Sweet hen is getting her feathers pulled out by other hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Brienna, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. Brienna

    Brienna Chirping

    Apr 26, 2014
    Quebec, Canada
    I've seen a lot of posts on feather picking but haven't found exactly what I'm looking for...
    Here is our situation: today, we noticed our sweet hen Bernadette getting her butt feathers pulled out by another hen, and then another joined. We have 4 hens, so we immediately separated the two feather picking hens, put them in the coop, and left Bernadette and her friend in the run until bedtime.

    Our concern is for tomorrow. We will be away all day from 7am to 4pm and we were wondering if we should separate them again like we did, 2 in the run and 2 in the coop. the problem with the run is that there are no nesting boxes so that might be a problem if they need to lay during the day. Or, we let them stay together as usual and hope the behavior stopped. It really just started today. We added roosts and logs and things to do in the run so they don't get too bored. We've had them since april, they were chicks, and we've never had this sort of problem until now.

    Is there anything we can put on her bum to discourage the pecking, like something that smells/tastes bad?
    We are worried as of what to do as we have the night to sleep on it but will have to quickly organize something in the morning before leaving for work.

    Any input is appreciated! thank you.

    Here is a picture of one of the two bald spots on her bum where the feathers were picked:
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I use Rooster Booster Pick no more lotion after I spray Blu Kote.

    It is really a toss up as to whether they will peck again. Go with your gut!

    Make sure they are getting enough protein (not too much scratch).
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  3. Eggmachine11

    Eggmachine11 Chirping

    Feb 8, 2015
    Blukote,Chickens peck at red things so purpelish bluish stuff will help lay them off,so will treats,If that concerned,seperate "Her".I did not plural b/c,the other hen could randomly decide to peck at her.
  4. Urban Flock

    Urban Flock Chirping

    Sep 17, 2014
    Southern Oregon
    We keep a "flock block" in their run to keep them busy. It keeps them pecking at it and not at each other. You can make your own or buy one at a feed store. We found that the ones from the store are much harder and last longer. 11 chickens and the block lasts about three months.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I've found blukote can attract as much pecking attention as blood can, especially on a light colored bird....and the bird it is on wants to preen it off.

    Are they eating the feathers?
    Could be a lack of protein, specifically animal protein.
    What are you feeding them?

    How big is your coop(feet by feet)?
    Crowding can cause pecking behaviors.
  6. Brienna

    Brienna Chirping

    Apr 26, 2014
    Quebec, Canada
    Thank you all for your tips. They are eating layer feed and some treats from time to time but not everyday. The coop is 3X8 (with a second story and plenty of roosting space) and the run is 8X10...I think this is enough for 4 chickens? they have access to the run all the time. It's been a week and she has lost a bit more feathers but it's not too bad..it's kind of on and off. I still want to stop the behavior before it gets too late. I will isolate her in the coop for the day tomorrow.
  7. the girls club

    the girls club In the Brooder

    Jul 15, 2013
    I have had 10 chickens. Now I have 6. 4 have had their back sides peck to death. They have been inside their coop. I live in Ohio and it's been below zero. And lower than freezing many days. I have bought BLU-KOTE. Will try this. Someone told me that stress will do this to chickens. I have a flock block in the coop. So what else can I try to prevent them from picking on each other. My coop size is 10 by 10. I have heat lamps going with the tempature around 50 to 60. Is this too warm for them in winter? How do you distress a chicken so it is happy? The protein in their food is the proper amount 18 percent layer feed. I can't separate them. Don't know which one or ones that are pecking. Could I get a small cage in the coop and still keep the one chicken .when I decover which one is doing the damage in the coop The reason for keeping the cage in the coop is because it is heated. I would put food and water in the cage with the separated chicken HELP!

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