Why are they Pecking one another? Please Help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Clintster, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. Clintster

    Clintster Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 9, 2010
    I have a total of eight chickens, all different breeds. I also have a nice large insulated coop with windows. The girls haven't been outside in a few weeks due to the weather and the run being under construction. The problem is that the girls are pecking the heck out of one another! I have two in segregation with injuries to their rear hind quarters just under their wings. I have been doctoring them up with ointment and dressing their wounds. Now, my silver laced who just started laying has her face all pecked on the left side. She has a chunk of skin hanging off and has a small hole from the pecking. I've cleaned the wound, and crammed triple antibiotic ointment into it.
    I've got one of those pecking blocks in the coop for them to peck at, but why are they pecking one another? Is there something I need to change or do? I'm out of options and need help.

    Thank you for reading!!!
    Clintster
     
  2. sjarvis00

    sjarvis00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Shawnee, OKlahoma
    Sounds like they are bored... You need to let them outside. Throwing some treats on the ground might help. If you dont free feed scratch you might try scattering some scratch out on the ground so the have something to peck at. Other than that the only thing you can do is give them some fresh air and let them outside.
     
  3. ARose4Heaven

    ARose4Heaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2009
    Flippin, AR
    Bored, bored, bored. Been there, done that. Lost a few hens to boredom. You need to get them outside! Pecking becomes a habit and spreads through a flock like wildfire! Get them girls some entertainment.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Might as well let them out, run or no run. They won't go far, if they even go out (chickens often aren't fond of snow; you didn't say where you lived.) As another poster, indicated, next step is cannibalism anyway.
     
  5. Clintster

    Clintster Out Of The Brooder

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    I live by Indianapolis, IN. I thought the Flock block would help with the pecking. I"ll let them out today and hope they don't fly out of the unfinished run.

    Any other suggestions???

    Thank You so much!! Keep the suggestions coming....[​IMG]
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    People do different things to keep them entertained. Besides flock blocks, you can hang a cabbage, give them things to climb/roost on -- there are a bunch of ideas in the threads on the FAQ page in the pecking/feather eating pages. But the bottom line is, they need space and some freedom, they need to be able to explore. They will wander around, pecking and scratching, a lot more than they will fly. And since they've spent that much time in the coop, they should go back in to roost at dusk on their own.

    I imagine you're worried about predators, and that is legitimate, but in the end, once they have gotten into this attack mode, they will be their own predators without some freedom and space.

    Only fair to say I'm a free range kind of person, though, and free ranging does involve some acceptance of losses.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    In my last Backyard Poultry mag. There was an article about Beets and their tops for chickens, so today I hung some in their coop to see if they like them.
     
  8. Clintster

    Clintster Out Of The Brooder

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    OK, so I rigged the run, put out some scratch, a popcorn ball and some pineapple upside down cake. They stayed out for about 30 minutes and went back in?? Should I close the door and make them stay out for a while? It's pretty cold here and I don't know if I should do that??
    I also put some cooked rice in the coop to try to keep them busy. I'm pretty out of ideas but hanging beets, cabbage?? Has anyone tried that? At this point I'll try anything. [​IMG]

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, please keep the ideas flowing................

    Clintster
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    yep cabbage I have done, just put out the beets, you should give them the option of going in an out, when it's in the low 20's mine still will go out. They can take the cold, what breed are your chickens?
     
  10. Clintster

    Clintster Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a buff, silver and gold laced, a production red, rhode island red, a naked neck (my favorite and the worst injured)and an americana.
     

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