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skyhightree1

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My hens are pecking each other really badly.. There missing tons of feathers on there backs one almost a whole in her so I sprayed them with blu kote. Is there a way to get this to stop? :help:
 

Bigfoot

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The chicken/chickens that are not missing feathers are the culprit. You could eat them, or separate them.
 

Chocolate Cow

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Give them a chunk of meat. Some junk piece. A heart and old roast, anything. They need protein. My Mom would give the chickens a meat block but I haven't seen one in a long time. When one pecks another like you describe, she would put Vicks vaporub on that spot.
 

Alan

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skyhightree1":24c7werx said:
I got deer guts and heart

It's an interesting approach, please let me know if it helps, can't see why it wouldn't if it's a protein issue. We give our left over veggies, breads and some fruits on a daily basis along with a "egg layer" pelleted feed from a bag. Never thought of meats though, may give it some thought if it helps with yours.
 
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skyhightree1

skyhightree1

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Kingfisher":1yixg357 said:
There sick. Separate em and get some young replacement

there only 8 months old

Alan":1yixg357 said:
skyhightree1":1yixg357 said:
I got deer guts and heart

It's an interesting approach, please let me know if it helps, can't see why it wouldn't if it's a protein issue. We give our left over veggies, breads and some fruits on a daily basis along with a "egg layer" pelleted feed from a bag. Never thought of meats though, may give it some thought if it helps with yours.

im reluctant to try meat as that may add fuel to the fire... I feed mine unlimited brewers grain layer pellets with oystem shell I mix in. bread daily and grass clippings I may have to eat the biggest culprit.
 

alisonb

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You will have to find the underlying reason for this behavior, a happy healthy chicken will not pick. Something is stressing them...could be parasites, nutritional deficiency, overcrowding, too much heat or light, boredom etc. They don't do well on kitchen scraps alone and will need a well balanced protein mash(not pellets).

If you wish to see almost immediate results and if it's possible, extend a fence around part of the coup and let the chickens out in this area to forage, eat greens, 'sun/dirt bathe' :p etc...allow them a little free range. If this is not possible, get a bag of decaying matter from you compost heap or an old bale and put it in the coup for them. If the behavior continues you will have to 'pick' out the culprits ;-) .

It would seem that the coup has become a 'hostile environment' for them or you have a cannibal, please don't go into the coup alone Sky :shock:
 
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skyhightree1

skyhightree1

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10x30 run 20 hens .. Yea I gotta figure it out or the offender. Weird thing I seen one eat his own feathers
 

farmerjan

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Used to be years ago the amish in Pa would put a "whey block" in the coops in the winter for the chickens. It is a protein issue plus boredom. It's like the 50 lb block of salt size. Don't know if they still have them available but there are some smaller blocks @ TSC for chickens. Made for these little back yard flocks that are "pet chickens" but it does give them something to do. Yeah they are probably expensive but it might stop the problem for a bit. Like a suet block for the birds. Also, we used to bag up leaves in the fall and them put them in there for them to scratch through. They'd find bugs and bits of grass and it would just add to the bedding. I'd try an old bale of hay or a couple scoops of dirt, or the straw/bedding that you might clean out of the calf pen. Also, they make a little anti-pick thing that snaps into the chickens nostrils just above the beak. They are red and for the lack of a better description, look like miniature sunglasses perched on the end of someones nose... They are used alot on show birds if there is a picking problem. Since everything looks red, they can't see to draw blood, and it works pretty good. But it seems that you have maybe one or two that are cannibalistic and as soon as you find out who, needs to have a date with the soup pot.
If they are eating their own feathers it is definitely a protein need. What protein is the layer pellets? They need at least a 16% and I prefer closer to 20% in the winter if they are housed inside. I feed pellets because they can't waste it like they can if there is one that likes to peck most of the mash type feed onto the floor. Try some scratch feed also thrown on the floor so they have to "look for it".
No offense but 10x30 is tight for 20 hens when they are confined. A chicken should have in the neighborhood of 4-5 sq ft so 300 sq ft =less than 10 birds. I think they might be too crowded and then there is the bully that is doing the picking to start. And yes, the ones with all their feathers are usually the ones doing the most picking.
I would also check for lice as that can make then nervous and will contribute to less than ideal actions.
 

farmerjan

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Eggs are good protein but if you even think to try to feed them, they have to be hard boiled and NO SHELLS. Once a chicken starts eating egg shells, they will be eating eggs in the nest boxes and you may as well eat all of them and start over. Feeding eggs back to hens is just asking for trouble down the road. We used to hard boil eggs and feed it back to baby chicks on the poultry farm that I worked on but it is not ideal and requires some effort. NEVER feed back raw eggs, they will figure it out and you will never get any eggs out of there for yourself.
 

slick4591

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I feed only cooked eggs back to them for the extra protein. Chicks love them. I also feed crushed shells back to the layers to add to the calcium they might not be getting from the feed. Luckily, I've never had a nest egg eater. Agree with Jan that a bird eating feathers needs more protein. Although I've never tried it, some people crush dry cat food and supplement.
 
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skyhightree1

skyhightree1

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Thanks all I will try that... I bought 20 chicks thinking that I would raise them and some would die well none died and then friend was supposed to buy some... Well he didn't so I just kept them. They have plenty to scratch through in the pen as the floor is nothing but old brewers grain. I am thinking about the lice issue as well would it be ok to put permetherin on them? and in the coop?
 

farmerjan

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Can you not let them out to free range for a little bit during the day? Chickens will nearly always go back into their coop when it starts to get dark. I try to let them out late afternoon for a couple of hours. Yes we have predator problems, but not much before dark usually. Except the eagle but if you have any dogs that should help to deter any predators during the daylight hours. Just make sure you get them closed in by dark.
 

Son of Butch

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alisonb":p1izpehk said:
You will have to find the underlying reason for this behavior, a happy healthy chicken will not pick. Something is stressing them...could be parasites, nutritional deficiency, overcrowding, too much heat or light, boredom etc. They don't do well on kitchen scraps alone and will need a well balanced protein mash(not pellets).

If you wish to see almost immediate results and if it's possible, extend a fence around part of the coup and let the chickens out in this area to forage, eat greens, 'sun/dirt bathe' :p etc...allow them a little free range. If this is not possible, get a bag of decaying matter from you compost heap or an old bale and put it in the coup for them. If the behavior continues you will have to 'pick' out the culprits ;-) .

It would seem that the coup has become a 'hostile environment' for them or you have a cannibal, please don't go into the coop alone Sky :shock:
:lol:
 

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