The pecking each other is out of control

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LMcPeak, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. LMcPeak

    LMcPeak New Egg

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    Oct 7, 2015
    HELP, we have 9 hens and things have been going well all year until last month when we noticed several of them had bare and bleeding spots where feathers have been pecked out. We consulted out local tractor supply, Agway and other chicken owners and made sure they had a diet high in protein, ruled out mites and gave them things to play with, climb on and scratch grain to keep them busy. In the last week it has progressed severely and 4 of them are bleeding and 1 barely has a tail left and has no feathers on her lower back. We have watched them and I do notice that 2 of them seem to be the bigger bullies but all of them are pecking each other. Blu-Kote and other natural ointments have not deterred them. I am out of ideas, anyone have any other ideas??
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Sorry for the circumstances. You are dealing with a bad habit that sounds as if it escalating to a possibly dangerous level. Do an on site search on 'Pin Less Peepers'. They work, and can sometimes be removed after the birds have refeathered.
     
  3. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What are the dimensions of the coop? How big is the run, or, are they allowed to freerange? Chickens should have at least 4 sq ft of floor space, per bird, in the coop. Preferably more, if they spend a lot of time in the coop. They should have at least 10 sq ft of run space, per bird, if they are being contained in a run. chickens can get kinda crabby, if they are kept confined in too small an area.
     
  4. MadAnt

    MadAnt Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello and welcome. First of all - how many sq, ft per hen in the coop? Second - they might need more calcium(chalk, lime stone).
     
  5. LMcPeak

    LMcPeak New Egg

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    Oct 7, 2015
    The Run is 8X16 and 6 feet high, the coop is 8X8. We have not let them free range as we live in the woods with 2 resident Hawks that eat everything in their path.
     
  6. LMcPeak

    LMcPeak New Egg

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    Oct 7, 2015
    We are giving them oyster shell, should I add something else
     
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    You can try increasing protein by giving dry cat food or black oil sun flower seeds, but I'm willing to bet that they are past the point where dietary or environmental changes will cause them to stop.
     
  8. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The coop sounds to be a proper size for 9 birds. The run is right there around the minimum, as far as sq footage goes. I'd expand the run if possible. They really like a lot of space. Maybe, if they don't already have them, add some roost bars, or branches to the run, so they can have some vertical escape from the cannibals. Once they draw blood, it's hard to stop them. You may have to remove the more serious offenders, for a few days, until the chewed ones can heal.
     
  9. LMcPeak

    LMcPeak New Egg

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    We did add branches, I am lost, will talk to the husband about enlarging the coop. He is at tractor supply now, maybe he needs to stop at lowes for more chicken wire and lumber. I just feel so bad, my girls look horrible.
     
  10. LMcPeak

    LMcPeak New Egg

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    Thank you, just put in an order, I will try anything at this point
     

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