will vinegar keep my chickens from pecking at eachother?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pnuts, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. pnuts

    pnuts Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    my big chickens have been picking on the smaller chickens recently and i was wondering if vinegar would stop them from doing so. i read online that you should spray them with it and another site said to put it in their water and now i'm confused:(
    what are some other ways to make them quit picking on eachother?

    i have 4 normal sized red chickens, a big black hen, a big white hen, and a silkie rooster and none of them get picked on

    they like to pick on a crossed beak grey hen i got recently as well as two young hens (a silkie and a standard polish). the younger ones are in a cage to protect them from the older ones but i would like to just not have to worry about any of this and let them roam wild. i also have a bantam cochin and they try to pick on her sometimes but shes too fast for them and is usually accepted among the larger birds most of the time (shes being broody right now so they are leaving her alone)
  2. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    Apple cider vinegar, a little in their water is good; like a probiotic, kinda. Spraying them with it? I've never heard of that but I wouldn't; it hurst if you get it in your eyes.
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hi! Now, the only thing I've hard of, as far as using the vinegar (apple cider vinegar), was putting a tiny bit in the drinking water, which would keep the water containers from getting that slimy layer as quickly. I haven't heard about spraying it on a chicken.

    Just a couple of things to think about.....feather picking can be caused by a number of things: Overcrowding is one thing--too many chickens with not quite enough space and they will become irritable. Also boredom--a chicken with nothing to peck at will peck at another chicken, diet--feathers are almost all protein, so a chicken will sometimes eat them because they need more protein in their diet. And of course parasites.

    Of course I'm not saying you have any of those situations going on, just giving you a little bit of info to think about. Sometimes you just get a really mean hen. I had that situation this past winter. I noticed all my chickens getting getting bald spots on their backs, just above the tail. Except one certain hen.....so I spent about an hour watching them one afternoon to discover that she would sneak up behind another chicken, eyeball their backs, and give them a really hard peck, pulling feathers! So I got rid of the mean hen, and all was well.

    Whatever you do, good luck with that, and I hope your problem is solved soon.[​IMG]
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I have indeed heard of putting a bit of vinegar on the chicken whose being pecked to supposedly stop the pecking. Whether or not the chickens can really smell and/or taste it I do not know. I've never tried it myself so couldn't tell you if it would work but I don't see anything wrong with giving it a try.
  5. pnuts

    pnuts Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    Quote:i read too that if its hot in their living space then they will pick on each other because they are irritable so i'm hoping its that so that they might calm down when fall gets here. i really hope its not just because they feel like turning evil:[
    maybe i will put a fan in the barn [​IMG]

    i dont think its overcrowding or boredom because they have a giant converted horse stall with lots of roosts and in the daytime they have the entire barn and outside to hang out & about
  6. pnuts

    pnuts Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    and thanks guys maybe i will just pour/spray vinegar all over the place if they dont stop being jerks.

    one more thing. what age would it be appropriate to introduce the silkie & polish hen to the flock? how would i go about doing so?
  7. Chickenshark

    Chickenshark Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 20, 2010
    Some Ocean
    Hi.I don't know about vinegar but it is normal for bigger chickens to peck smaller chickens it is the pecking order, as the smaller ones get bigger they will get pecked less [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2010
  8. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
  9. pnuts

    pnuts Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    i give them a couple of their own eggs every day. do they need more protein than that?

    that anti pick stuff looks neat. i wonder whats in it then maybe i could make a homemade version.

    also: ive been adding apple cider vinegar to their water and it might be working a little although its too soon to tell i think [​IMG]
    GossChicks likes this.
  10. fratermus

    fratermus Out Of The Brooder

    May 1, 2010
    Point, Rains county, Tx
    Quote:I've taken to hanging more sturdy food scraps like corncobs or watermelon rinds in the tractor. They don't peck at each other but they will stand there in a group and peck the hanging goodie until it's stripped. Takes about 2hrs for the larger chunks like rind. About 30mins for a cob. They seem to really like it.

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