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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by crabby chickens, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. crabby chickens

    crabby chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2012
    Paso Robles, CA
    We have 15 hens, no rooster, and 1/2 of our hens have feathers pecked off of the back of their necks. Does anyone know what we can put on their necks to deter the others from pecking. We have tried Vasoline and mustard. The vasoline helps, but they liked the mustard. Any other suggestions???
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Are the hens mounting each other?
     
  3. crabby chickens

    crabby chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2012
    Paso Robles, CA
    We see them a lot throughout the day and we haven't seen this behavior. Any ideas about what chickens don't like, taste wise? Do you think we could use what we use on our dog when he over licks something?
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    What's causing the picking/pecking? Overcrowding in the pen or inside the coop can attribute to picking/pecking, inadequate protein in their diet/feed, external parasites, boredom. Coop/run expansion will eliminate picking/pecking. Adding gamebird feed contains a higher percentage of protein than regular feed. Add it to their diet and the picking/pecking will eventually slow and stop. Inspect them top to bottom for external parasites, inspect inside the coop at night for mites crawling around, use a flashlight. Hanging a head of cabbage in the run/pen will also eliminate picking/pecking. If all this fails; put Vicks Vapor Rub on their necks or purchase Rooster Booster brand "Black Salve," dont purchase Rooster Booster "Pick No More."
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree with Dawg, you need to really look at your management and see why the birds are pecking each other. How much space do you have for the hens? And how old are they, is it possible they're molting or have you seen them pecking each other? Can you post pics of the bare birds for us to look at?
     
  6. crabby chickens

    crabby chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    32
    Jul 21, 2012
    Paso Robles, CA
    Hi thank you for all of the suggestions. We have 15 hens with an 8 X 8 coop. It's 6' tall with a pitched roof. It has 1 - 8' long perch and 1 - 7' long perch and 4 nesting boxes. The have an enclosed 12' x 18' x 6' outside run. In the morning I give them kitchen and garden scraps and at lunch they get some scratch. They have free feed 18% protein pelleted food. They have been dusted and their coop and pen spayed and dusted for mites. They are also getting Ivermectin for feather mites per our vet. They look healthy with good color to their combs except for this loss of neck feathers and they lay well. Last fall we were averaging 12 eggs a day and now even in winter (days in the 50's and nights in the 20'-30's) we average 7-8 eggs a day. We would love to free range them, but we have hawks and owls. Thanks again for the help.
     
  7. crabby chickens

    crabby chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2012
    Paso Robles, CA
    Hi
    I will try to get a picture tomorrow and post it. We really appreciate all of the help. This is our first year with chickens, we started with chicks last Spring.
    The girls are so much fun and really friendly, so we feel so bad that they don't look their best.
     

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