tail feathers

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lakehuroncluckers, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. lakehuroncluckers

    lakehuroncluckers In the Brooder

    Nov 7, 2007
    when can we expect our chickens to stop ripping feathers out of each others rear ends?

    our coop floor is equal parts pine shavings, feathers, and of course poop.

    the chickens are 12 weeks old and the roosters are out from the hen house.

    dosen't molting happen on it's own? It seems like the chickens are "molting" each other.

    thanks for any help...
  2. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    Wow, I haven't had that happen yet, but my flock is much smaller than yours. I hope there is an expert here that can help answer that.

  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    How many chickens in how big of a space? It is not normal for birds to be pecking on each other and ripping out feathers. It is a sign of boredom or crowding or both. It can also be a sign of nutritional deficiencies. It's a bad bad habit and you might want to get some aniti pick so they don't start getting to flesh and cannibalism.

    Keep their feed the grower and reduce giving scratch to elimate the possible nutritional deficiencies and then give them something to do like hang a head of cabbage from the ceiling. Or give them more space. Hope you can fix it.
  4. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    I just went through this with my 3 week olds. First one lost her tail feathers, the next day several were walking wounded -- wings, backs, tails..... At the advice of someone very knowledgeable (silkiechicken), I moved them into a larger space. I put anti-pick on them initially but haven't repeated it. There haven't been any more problems and everyone is enjoying their new coop/brooder. It has also helped their dispositions, they aren't nearly as feisty as they were (some have even decided they like sleeping on me, especially the one who lost her tail). [​IMG]

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