Tuft of feathers sticking up on back...is she getting pecked?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KansasKate, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. KansasKate

    KansasKate Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2011
    One of my EEs in a flock of 4 (2 EE, 2 Barred Rock) perpetually has a couple of small feathers sticking up on her back between her wings. She's definitely the lowest in the pecking order by her behavior around treats, etc. Should I assume she's getting pecked? There isn't a bare spot (yet). Can feathers just stick up like that naturally? (Sorry....newbie question).
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Hi Kate and [​IMG]

    Hard to tell without a pic, but I'd say there's a good chance she is getting pecked. You don't have a rooster right?

    For pecking issues I prefer a product called pine tar, over any of the so-called anti-peck products. Problem is, pine tar is messy. Effective, but messy.
     
  3. KansasKate

    KansasKate Out Of The Brooder

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    Interesting. Might I ask, how do you apply pine tar, and where? And what is the function: sticking to the beak? Deterrent smell? Healing?
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Pine tar is normally sold in the equine section of feed stores, TSCs and the like, as it's used on horses hooves. It has antimicrobial and healing properties. The can it comes in will say something along the lines of "not for internal consumption", but don't worry. I've used it for several years without a single problem and farmers have been using it for centuries. They don't consume enough of it to make them sick.

    It helps with healing and discourages pecking. Chickens get one little bitty taste of it on their beaks and then run around trying to get it off. It stinks and it's gooey.

    Best applied with something disposable like a tongue depressor or popsicle stick. In very small amount (just enough to cover the spot) and never around the eyes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  5. KansasKate

    KansasKate Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2011
    Cool! I don't see any skin (yet), just the occasional fluffed up feather where it looks like she's been pecked. She's hard to catch, too. I've started letting them free range at night and will try to get a bigger daytime run built to keep them from boredom. Should I wait to try the pine tar or do it now?
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:You might try applying a small amount to the area you've noticed. The bird doing the pecking will quickly learn there are better things to do with their time.

    Fair warning - the pine tar basically has to wear off. It doesn't wash off well.
     

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