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Tried everything any new suggestions?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by revmarcie, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. revmarcie

    revmarcie Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 12, 2016
    Got our RIR hens from a farmer when they were between 9 and 11 weeks old. They had been with many other hens of all ages and were all missing tail feathers. We were very new to chicken raising so we didn't know this might be a problem. That was October 2015. It is now May 2016. They are all wonderful layers. However, I cannot control the feather picking amongst them. We first tried pinless peepers --- they learned to get around them so eventually we took them back off. I am now using Blu-Kote whenever there is a bad episode. They all look like nearly tail-less wonders. There is not a single hen that does not do this to other hens either. We separated out 2 of the biggest offenders in (another coop and run we built for them). Then separated out 2 others that we also main outcasts and picked on and built an additional coop and run for them). Those four are doing well. We only have a total of 10 hens -- so six are left in the main coop with full yard access during the day. They have lots of oyster shell and also I have added a bowl of "feather fixer - high protein" within the coop along with their regular food. Nothing is working. I notice around town everyone else seems to have fully feathered chickens of all varieties living together. Ours look like a weed whacker got to their tail ends. I only have big worries when they pull a feather on somebody that bleeds -- then I treat immediately. Any other suggestions here -- and not I am not ready to part with any of my girls.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    As long as they have enough space, the problem is most likely a need for more protein.
    Feathers are 93% protein so that usually signifies a desire for animal protein.
    What is the protein % of their primary feed?
    Do you feed treats (what kind) or scratch? How much?

    Try getting some canned mackerel or give them some chicken, turkey, meat or fish. Give them some every day and see if they don't stop pulling feathers.
    Chickens are omnivores so they need animal protein.
     
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    You can also try sardines or cat food (but cat food is usually too high in salt). Chickens also feather pluck when they are too crowded. Have you checked them closely for mites or lice?
     
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    Maybe some toys or other diversions will help. You can hang a ball of cabbage just out of reach, so they have to jump to get a piece. Put colored balls in the run, some enjoy pushing them around. Parrot toys can be good - some have openings to stuff with food (like kong toys for dogs) anything the keeps them busy will keep them from pulling feathers.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    sardines are good but more expensive per ounce than mackerel
     

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