Well I'm down to 8...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by max13077, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. max13077

    max13077 Chillin' With My Peeps

    If I ever pictured keeping chickens was like this, I don't think I'd have done it. It's really sad. I started with 25 from Mcmurray last spring. The summer was fine. We whittled the flock down to 15 so they would fit into the coop this winter. Then the picking began. So far I've had to cull 6 myself and they've injured two so bad, I culled them out of mercy. I culled my favorite hen tonight because she wouldn't leave another one alone. It was horrible.

    I guess I'm going to end up keeping two or three of the ones left and getting a few more from the hatchery this spring. But boy, it's tough doing this stuff when you've been friends with them. [​IMG]
  2. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I agree. I have two hens in chicken jail right now. They are very aggressive towards the younger birds. They have been in jail now for a week. I'm going to let them out this weekend and see how it goes and if they are still aggressive they will go back into the jail. They can see the other birds from their jail cell. When one of the younger birds gets close to the jail, the jail birds still try to go after them.
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I was thinking of trying "Pinless Peepers" to see if that would help.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I'm really sorry this is happening to you Max.
    Is it possible for you to figure out what's causing the pecking in the first place rather than having to cull as a result of rampant pecking?
    Your situation sounds really unusual to me. Sure, some pecking goes on in all flocks, but not to that extreme.
    Best of luck. Kat
  5. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    how much space do you have in the coop Max?
    may be a bigger coop this spring will solve the problem!
  6. nerfy

    nerfy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2008
    Western Illinois
    Coop space is a major factor. I try to keep my girls occupied with foods they have to search for, like green grapes and such. I get the expired stuff free from my local grocery store. I also have a "Flock Block" made by Purina. It is a condensed block of seeds, grit and goodies that they have to peck at. I had to order mine through my feed store. They were $8.00 and about the size of a salt lick. They love it!
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
  7. max13077

    max13077 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The thing is the "peck'ors" follow the "peck'ies" everywhere they go. I've tried to distract them by feeding them every treat I can think of. I upped the protein level because I saw them eating feathers. They're now on 20% chick starter and continue to do it. Something else that has impacted things is nobody will go outside. I shovel the run all the time, but nobody will go out in the snow. The coop is 10' by 12'. I thought the number was 10 square feet per bird? So it was my fault we kept the other three. However they'd never done it before, so I thought I could get away with it.

    I guess you live and learn. [​IMG]
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Max, do you have a snow platform? Makes all the difference with mine. Your climate is similar, we get snow load, like you.

    Snow boards or plastic around the run (5-12 ml) to cut the wind turns your run warmer and makes it appealing, too. Also cuts down on bedding because the girls are out.

    Also, do they have a play sand box indoors? Gives endless hours of mutual fun, and you can mix food-grade DE and other powder treatments like Sevin or Dri-Kill in with it.

    Our barn/coop foundation is 4' high so I couldn't make my pop door at ground level, plus I saw some snow platforms nearby at Circle Pond Farm's website and hubby built one. It makes *such a difference*. Check link to my BYC home page.








    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
  9. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    Quote:Mine wouldn't go outside either in the snow, until I put a layer of hay down in the run. Now they're out all the time picking through the hay.
  10. blueskylen

    blueskylen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    i have put our old pool cover to use as a large tarp for over the run. the hens run around out there even on the coldest days, as it is dry under there for dust baths and keeps the wind down. maybe you can find an old tarp ( even if it has a few holes) to partially cover the run?

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