URGENT! Need help with feather picking!

chickendude

Songster
Jun 4, 2009
1,522
26
241
Dutchess County NY
I have a two fold problem with feather picking.

Problem #1 is our silver laced polish roo is being torn up by our 6 RIR hens. They are all 10 months old. The hens have been plucking all of his tail feathers out. I trimmed all of his head feathers that blocked his vision thinking that he didn't see the girls approaching to pick at him. That helped for a while but now they are at it in full force. He has totally stopped crowing and spends most of his time in the coop. This has been going on for about 2 months and now they are tearing his flesh and he is bleeding because of the picking.

Problem #2 is 2 days ago I have noticed that 2 of the hens are missing a patch of feathers just below their vent. I did notice the others picking at them. They are all eating and otherwise appear healthy. They all gave me an egg a day through the winter. They have plenty of layena crumbles and water. I do give them 1/2 of a coffee can of scratch a day as a treat.

Any suggestions as to what might be causing this would be great-full.

Also after a little research I found Blu-kote wound dressing, Hot Pick and Pine Tar to treat the wounds. Which of these would best treat the problem? Or if something else may work better please let me know.

Thanks.
Rich
 

easttxchick

Lone Star Call Ducks
10 Years
Aug 3, 2009
8,427
68
263
I would try the Hot Pick-that's what I have used in the past. If the wounds begin looking much worse, I would separate the ones with the bald spots.
 

mdbokc

Songster
10 Years
Jun 22, 2009
1,032
27
151
Oklahoma County, OK
I used Rooster Booster which is a creamy liquid applied to the wound/pecked area. They claim it reduces or stops the pecking of the others' feathers. Mine were being pecked and made to be feather free right behind the comb. I applied the product to the affected areas on the pecked birds and the pecking stopped. I applied it every couple to days to followup and no more problems of persistent pecking. Must be something in it that the pecking chickens want no part of.

Rooster Booster Pick-No-More Lotion

Rooster Booster Pick-No-More Lotion controls cannibalism in poultry using a convenient squeeze bottle with applicator. Directions For Use: SHAKE WELL BEFORE USE. Remove cap, invert bottle and squeeze, spreading lotion on wounded area with tip of applicator. Caution: Keep out of reach of children. For external use on domestic poultry. Note: Game birds may require more frequent applications. Active Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, Calendula (Marigold), Cresylic Acid, Coal Tar Distillate, and Tea Tree Oil. Net Weight: 4 ounces (113.5 grams)

I know the Aloe, Calendula and tea tree oil are ingredients to aid in healing and stop infection as well because I use them on me!.
 
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easttxchick

Lone Star Call Ducks
10 Years
Aug 3, 2009
8,427
68
263
Quote:
Does the hot pick help in cleansing the wound or does it simply deter picking due to bad taste?

It deters picking. Oooh I need to get some of the Pick No More if it Promotes healing as well. Good tip mdbokc!
 

chickendude

Songster
Jun 4, 2009
1,522
26
241
Dutchess County NY
I just ordered a bottle of Rooster Booster Pick-No-More for $6.53 at roosterboosterproducts.com hope it works out.
fl.gif
 

Dora'smom

Songster
10 Years
Dec 14, 2009
916
11
121
Oregon
It depends from flock to flock, exactly why chickens are picking. Sometimes it starts for one reason, and then becomes habit. I have had problems with feather picking in my flock of nine almost year-old pullets.
If they are feather-picking and eating, it can be a protein deficiency in their diet. The amount of scratch they are getting per day makes me wonder if that is a part of what goes on. When they get that much scratch, it replaces other, higher protein food in their diet. You may want to look into this.
Is there ample space in the coop for the breeds you have?
It sounds as though they have a nice area to range in, so I am assuming they are not confined in a coop/run consistently.
Pick-no-more worked part of the time, for us. Sometimes they would pick anyway. We also used black salve, which worked part of the time. Blu-Kote worked as well as the others, and is an antiseptic (not sure about the other treatments off the top of my head). A friend who has a lot of birds suggested debeaking, which we are very opposed to. As an alternative, we bought some pinless peepers, which work as reverse blinders. When using these, the hens can not see directly ahead to pick at individual feathers, it seems. So far these have been the most effective. One of my RIR's had a bare tummy and back. Totally bare, but now both areas are covered with pinfeathers. I also tried an apron, but that only covered the one area.
You will have to try things out and see what works best for you. Good luck.
 

chickendude

Songster
Jun 4, 2009
1,522
26
241
Dutchess County NY
Dora'smom :

It depends from flock to flock, exactly why chickens are picking. Sometimes it starts for one reason, and then becomes habit. I have had problems with feather picking in my flock of nine almost year-old pullets.
If they are feather-picking and eating, it can be a protein deficiency in their diet. The amount of scratch they are getting per day makes me wonder if that is a part of what goes on. When they get that much scratch, it replaces other, higher protein food in their diet. You may want to look into this.
Is there ample space in the coop for the breeds you have?
It sounds as though they have a nice area to range in, so I am assuming they are not confined in a coop/run consistently.
Pick-no-more worked part of the time, for us. Sometimes they would pick anyway. We also used black salve, which worked part of the time. Blu-Kote worked as well as the others, and is an antiseptic (not sure about the other treatments off the top of my head). A friend who has a lot of birds suggested debeaking, which we are very opposed to. As an alternative, we bought some pinless peepers, which work as reverse blinders. When using these, the hens can not see directly ahead to pick at individual feathers, it seems. So far these have been the most effective. One of my RIR's had a bare tummy and back. Totally bare, but now both areas are covered with pinfeathers. I also tried an apron, but that only covered the one area.
You will have to try things out and see what works best for you. Good luck.

Thank you for your reply. As I commented earlier I am going to try the Rooster booster. As for the scratch that may very well be a part of the problem so I am going to cut way back on it. I started using it as a high energy type food to keep them warmer in the cold NY winters and never denied them their layena crumbles.. But now I feel the worst temps are over. as for the run... it is a 10x20 run and there is only 7 birds in there. So i don't feel that is an issue. Here are 2 pics of the run. Thanks again.
33356_img_2030.jpg


33356_img_1993.jpg
 
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MandyH

You'll shoot your eye out!
12 Years
Apr 16, 2007
3,277
23
231
Elvis' birthplace......
We had one breed in particluar that were tearing each other apart. I tried the no pick sprays, increased protein, etc and none of them worked for me. I finally ordered the Pin less peepers and they are WONDERFUL. Takes 2 seconds to put them on (no special pliers necessary) and stops the picking immediately.
 

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