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What to do with a feather picker?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by goldielocks, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. goldielocks

    goldielocks Songster

    Sep 2, 2009
    I have one RIR that is a feather picker. She goes from chicken to chicken trying to jerk out a feather on their lower backs! Then she eats them. They are fed very well. So i know its not a protein problem. What should i do?

  2. brwwk

    brwwk Hatching

    Sep 18, 2009
    We had an Aracana hen that wouldn't leave the others alone. She actually seemed to "stalk" the other chickens. We threw her in the "hole", the "hole" being a medium sized chick cage. We gave her food and water and kept her in there for approx. 5 days. We'd move the little jail house back and forth between the yard and the coup at night so she'd be safe. When we finally let her out, she was bottom of the pecking order. She did well for about 2 weeks and then started stalking again. Back in the "hole" she went for another 7 days. Since we've let her out (about 3 weeks ago) she's been a good girl. Not professional advice, but just how we dealt with that nasty behaviour...and who knows how well it will work. (how DO they swallow those feathers??? Yuck!)
  3. goldielocks

    goldielocks Songster

    Sep 2, 2009
    [​IMG] For real, i couldnt image wanting to swallow a feather. I think i will do just that. She will go in a different pen, it a very large area, probaby 8 x 15, under the lean-two. Its just chicken wire and i worry that she might get eaten. I guess if she does then she wont be eating feathers any longer. Thanks. [​IMG]

  4. funkychickenowner

    funkychickenowner In the Brooder

    Aug 30, 2008
    Sussex County NJ
    If it was one of my birds that one would be dinner! its really not that bad to do even to small birds. Think of them a cornish hens!
  5. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    I use pepers they can't aim at a feather to pull with them on
  6. Momo

    Momo Songster

    Mar 16, 2008
    Nelson BC
    I had a couple of girls that were doing the same thing. I ordered pinless peepers for them and the problem was solved. After a few months I took the peepers off and there's been no recurrence.
  7. ChicksR4Me

    ChicksR4Me Songster

    Dec 1, 2008
    North East Indiana
    Quote:What is a pinless peeper? I'm having a problem with my entire flock pecking feathers till their back sides are bald. Big problem. I've given them black oil sunflower seeds and cat food so I know they are not deficient in protein. I'm actually thinking about getting rid of the entire flock and starting over because when winter comes I don't want them to suffer in the cold.

  8. ella

    ella Songster

    I had the same problem when mine were young. They're just getting into laying, the pecking order is all messed up. They are under a lot of stress. Once they turn two the pecking problems tend to dissapear.

    If you can isolate who is doing it you can take off the tip of her beak with a nail clippers, I use a heavy duty dog clipper. Just take off the hook, not so much that it will bleed. It'll keep her from getting a good grip. You may have to repeat it a few times until she grows up a little.

    Some things that can help eliminate stress is, stop using artificial light. It drove my girls bonkers over that first winter. Add extra space for them to roam if you can and add extra feeders and waterers to reduce compitition. Even if they have the best feed it doesn't mean some aren't getting pushed away from it.

    Don't worry, it will get better. [​IMG]

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