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TWO of my chickens are being pecked at BAD!!!!!

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  • TWO of my chickens are being pecked at BAD!!!!!

    I have 12 chickens, 11 hens and 1 rooster. They have a huge Amish built coop with an attached run. I live on an acre of land and get let out for about 2-3 hours before dusk to roam the neighborhood. I can't leave them out as they can be a pest to my neighbors. Anyway, all the chickens are pecking at 2 birds to the point they are raw and bleeding a little. What can do I do???

    Can I spray "bitter apple" parrot spray for plucking on them??? Why are they doing this when they all grew up together???

    Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:

  • #2
    You can put a spray on the victims, and there are also these little capes (*silly*) to put on them to protect their skin. Unfortunately sometimes (in my experience) the chickens get bored and start picking on one or two...they don't often let up. If you can't separate the two from the rest, maybe some food/toys that will keep them entertained. Tie up a cabbage or two and let them swing close to the ground; the chickens peck at them all day long.


    • #3
      They do it because, in the Chicken World, Pecking Order is a real issue.
      Who knows what sets them off?

      Do you know for sure it's other hens doing the pecking and not the rooster being an {ahem} "enthusiastic" lover?
      If their backs are bare he may be the most likely culprit as they grab with their claws and rooster spurs can do some harm.
      Roosters will also grab at a hen they are mounting with their beak and pull feathers from their heads.
      If the rooster is rough enough to cause bleeding, the others may just be attracted to the blood.
      You can blunt his spurs or cut them off entirely.

      You might try covering your pecked girls' wounds with Blu-Kote or ichthamol as anything red just attracts more pecking and they can do some real damage.

      You can also separate the "pickees" until they grow their feathers back and then re-introduce at night, after they've roosted.
      Sometimes that works.

      Can you fence of part of the run off and let the pecked hens stay in there?
      That way the others can still see, but not peck the pariahs.

      Sometimes you just have to let them sort it out.
      As long as no serious wounds are happening, I've found chickens are pretty good healers.

      Right now my youngest hen, who was the rooster's favorite, is being picked on by the other 3.
      Since she lost her protector, and I lost him and 2 other hens to a fox, the flock dynamic has changed.
      One of the surviving hens has taken over as Top Bird, but the other 2 get their licks in too.
      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


      • #4
        I have used this with lots of success. It helps to heal the wounds while discouraging pecking

        Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
        My equine soulmate
        Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


        • #5
          Other than the questions everyone else asked. Where are they being pecked at? They do make apron type things for chickens to cover certain areas depending on where they are being pecked.

          The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.


          • #6
            Pull the peckees out so they can start to heal up without being further pecked (or anything else) upon. Do you have a light on them at night? a white light can lead to aggressive behavior; a red won't. I've never had a problem with chickens doing that in nearly 20 years of having them so can't really address it. Are you feeding them a laying mash or complete feed? (thinking protein)? they make products like Stop Pick that will help too...
            “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


            • #7
              I've had really good results w/the chicken aprons. I made my own - just google how to make a chicken apron and there are a few pages that give directions. I ended up w/combing a few different instructions to come up w/one that worked. It was quite easy.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kiwayu View Post
                . Anyway, all the chickens are pecking at 2 birds to the point they are raw and bleeding a little. What can do I do???
                In just my own personal experience, once a chicken has been injured to the point where there's even a small amount of blood showing, they need to be separated from the rest of the group until that area or areas are completely healed. Otherwise the entire gang will end up having a go at them constantly. This can easily lead to stress to the point where they'll stop feeding, decline, & die.


                • #9
                  Chickens are cannibilistic birds. What Bacardi1 said is correct. Pull them out now. The other birds won't stop, especially now that there has been blood let.
                  It's just their nature. An injured bird, or a low bird in the order are at risk for this.


                  • #10
                    Chicken Saddle

                    I leave this on one of my hens all of the time. She is the lowest in the pecking order and she has been fine since wearing the saddle. She got used to it within 10 minutes.