Author Topic: One of our chickens has been pecked a bit too much - any advice?  (Read 1586 times)

Charlotte

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Whilst we were letting the chickens have a wander round the garden this afternoon, we noticed that one of them has been pecked a little more than would appear to be healthy.  She's showing signs of actually having had feathers pulled out of her back and on examination, she's bleeding slightly.

We expected that one of our four would end up being at the bottom of the pecking order, but I'm worried that she's looking in pretty poor shape.  Her underneath feathers are going a bit grey and manky, too.

We've applied some anti-lick witch hazel stuff meant for cats that we had knocking about and I've ordered up a can of chicken anti-peck spray and some poulterers' wound powder.  But should we be doing anything else?
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Deborah

Re: One of our chickens has been pecked a bit too much - any advice?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2010, 04:06:14 pm »
I would suggests anti tick powder for hens.  Similar happened with our girls, it took a few weeks but it stopped.

Deborah

Re: One of our chickens has been pecked a bit too much - any advice?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2010, 04:07:03 pm »
Also washing them down might help.


vorsprung

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Re: One of our chickens has been pecked a bit too much - any advice?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2010, 04:24:18 pm »
I never had much problem with this sort of thing.  If you watch the chickens in our run there is normally one that doesn't fit in with the group and she will be on her own.  I would guess that chickens need enough physical space to sort out their social issues
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Julian

  • samoture
Re: One of our chickens has been pecked a bit too much - any advice?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2010, 06:54:45 pm »
They've got space - the run is rated for 10 hens and we've only got 4, plus they're getting as much free ranging time as we can manage.  But this is happening even when they're free ranging, so I don't think they're overcrowded.

Teh interwebz suggests overcrowding, boredom, lack of protein and bloodthirstiness as reasons chickens do this.

They're not overcrowded.  They might be bored, although they currently have a hanging apple, and some veg to pick at as well as their usual food and water.   Lack of protein - their layers' pellets are meant to provide everything they need, and I've been digging the garden so they've been happily munching up worms.  Bloodthirsty chickens - mebbe.  :-\

I'll spray them with the special spray tomorrow, and hang up something else for them to peck at and maybe a free CD or something to keep them amused.

Deborah - it's definitely not ticks, I've checked them thoroughly for ticks, mites, lice etc and I've been religious about making sure the house is thoroughly dusted with red mite powder and the nest boxes have plenty of anti-louse powder. 

Charlotte

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Re: One of our chickens has been pecked a bit too much - any advice?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2010, 07:20:31 pm »
They've got space - the run is rated for 10 hens and we've only got 4, plus they're getting as much free ranging time as we can manage.  But this is happening even when they're free ranging, so I don't think they're overcrowded.

Teh interwebz suggests overcrowding, boredom, lack of protein and bloodthirstiness as reasons chickens do this.
Me mum never had much of a problem with it, but her chickens got moved around the garden regularly to a fresh bit of ground, to weed & fertilise it. Their run was on the ground, so they could hunt for their own worms. All helped to distract them from violence towards each other, especially when the run had just been moved. They loved that. Got really excited when they had a fresh patch of weeds to play in.

But sometimes I think it's just a personality clash thing. Particularly vicious Top Chicken, particularly poor social skills in Bottom Chicken  . . . things get nasty. You say you're letting them run around the garden some of the time: that should help provide a fair bit of variety & mental stimulus, & yet it still happens.
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Fidgetbuzz

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Re: One of our chickens has been pecked a bit too much - any advice?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2010, 12:44:16 pm »
I would not worry too much, just nature in the raw.

Our cockerels favourite hen - ends up completely bald on parts of her back - where he balances when performing - she doesnt come to any long term harm.

So even if cockerel less - I doubt whether establishing pecking order, leading to some bald and bloody patches  - is going to harm the bottom member of the group, other than the psychological damage - but nothing  we can do about that.
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Eccentrica Gallumbits

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Re: One of our chickens has been pecked a bit too much - any advice?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2010, 08:08:05 am »


I'll spray them with the special spray tomorrow, and hang up something else for them to peck at and maybe a free CD or something to keep them amused.
Or leave the radio on for them so they can play Pop Master and then listen to the morons on Jeremy Vine.
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Charlotte

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Re: One of our chickens has been pecked a bit too much - any advice?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2010, 08:33:22 am »
I'll spray them with the special spray tomorrow

Stop press; the special spray mings something rotten  :sick:

Incidentally - I got home last night to find that my cohab has finally finished her transformation into Mad Chicken Lady.  Just before I arrived home, she'd given poor old Adela a shower in our bathroom and then dried her off with the hairdryer...

::-)
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Julian

  • samoture
Re: One of our chickens has been pecked a bit too much - any advice?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2010, 08:58:25 am »
I let them out for a while this morning & sprayed Adela again, and Sylvia for luck, since she's the one the other two will pick on next.  Adela succumbed with resignation; Sylvia is most annoyed at this undignified treatment and has retired to the henhouse.

It does seem to work though - both Christabel and Sylvia went to peck Adela this morning and then thought better of it.  :)