We need to invent an effective ANTI-FEATHER-PICKING salve

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by gclark94560, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. gclark94560

    gclark94560 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm having picking/pecking issues with my flock. One 9 week old bird has died! She had the entire rear of her neck pecked out!

    I have two groups of hens by age. No roosters.

    I have the adults and chicks separated now. The adult picking seems to still be going on. I now have two adults with bald and near bleeding places.

    The adults are 1 English Blue Orpington, 1 Black Australorp and 5 Barred Rocks.

    The adults are on Tucker 22% protean feed. They get scratch (8 oz for 14 birds) twice a day. It's fortified at about 5% with 40% protean kitten food.

    The roost area opens into a 100 sq ft secure "Play Yard" and in the mornings I open the door into a 450 sq ft fenced outer yard. That's about 40 sq ft per chicken!

    So I have been reading about BlueKote, HotPick and Pick-No-More. The reviews are almost as negative as positive on these. It sounds like most of these are too thin and easily rubbed or washed off.

    It seems to me that we need:

    A grease based salve for coverage and lasting properties.
    An opaque salve to hide the raw meat look that may encourage picking.
    A taste that chickens HATE!
    a smell in the same category.
    An antibiotic additive would be good to prevent infection.

    I have some ideas but want to engage the group mind and see what a few hundred sharp minds can pull up out of their experience base for this.

  2. gclark94560

    gclark94560 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Key issues are - what have you found that chickens hate the taste or smell of?? [​IMG]
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Everything that I have ever read indicates that chickens have poorly developed senses of taste and smell. A Google search seems to confirm that fact.
  4. gclark94560

    gclark94560 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh My! That certainly complicates things! [​IMG]
  5. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 30, 2012
    River Valley, AR
    I have had luck with minor feather picking issues in coating the location with Vicks Salve. It has an unpleasant taste and smell, it is also greasy as it is petroleum based. I am not sure about the extremeness you are having but you might give it a try. Personally, the solution I found when I did have one that would not stop was to re-home the culprit. She went into a new flock and thus ended up on the bottom of the pecking order and was not given to opportunity to pick.
  6. gclark94560

    gclark94560 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Going along with what Sourland posted - A Google search found this -

    "Chickens, particularly have about 20-30 taste buds, so technically they have, but i doubt they are any use for them.
    And if you are wondering, things are even worst when talking about their sense of smell."

    Perhaps zinc oxide cream would cover the flesh colored area and stop stimulating them to pick the area.
  7. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 30, 2012
    River Valley, AR
    I realize that it says they have limited sense of smell and taste, but I do know that my chickens have treat preferences. Some will eat strawberries, some won't - for example.

    The vicks is also greasy and unpleasant feeling so that might be the reason it worked. Anyway, hope you find a solution. If not, time to get rid of some birds, perhaps.
  8. TexasChicken12

    TexasChicken12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2014
    My grandfather used to have lots of chickens. He said his mom always put mentholatum on their feathers when the other chickens were picking at them. I am trying it today for the first time. He says it always stopped quick after that.

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