Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi Guys,

i have just adopted four hens, they look in good health, between three and five months, different breeds and unfortunately differing sizes.

In the last two days I have noticed that they are keen pluckers. Sometimes eating the feathers sometimes just plucking for the hell of it. Not out of themselves just others. That I have seem anyway. There is plenty to do in their crèche enclosure. I have put watermelon halves, a small climbing frame, herbal plants and a large area suitable for dust bathing (with loads of de) which they use. I am concerned that this could escalate. They are getting a good quality feed from me although I have no idea what they got from the breeder. I have had them for four days.  No sign of fleas, mites, ticks, lice or anything although I have wormed them and cover their poops with de or removed them (depending on condition) each morning.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can stop this habit ?

Many thanks for reading and any advice greatfully received.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Debby. Sorry to hear you’re having this problem - there’s someone else on the forum who it’s hapenning to with new girls too so have a browse.

How much space do they have?

If entrenched it can be a very difficult habit to break, but most people find that fitted correctly bumps bits usually work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, mullethunter said:

Hi Debby. Sorry to hear you’re having this problem - there’s someone else on the forum who it’s happening to with new girls too so have a browse.

How much space do they have?

If entrenched it can be a very difficult habit to break, but most people find that fitted correctly bumps bits usually work.

Absolutely agree - they have relatively simple neural pathways, so easily learn new habits, which need tackling promptly. I would spray each of them lightly with some anti-feather pecking spray (be careful to abide by the dosage as you can make them woozy with too much) as a preventative and get some bumpa bits - and circlip pliers - in so that you're ready if it continues. If you are able to identify a ring leader who they are copying, then isolate that hen in a broody cage for a couple or 3 days.

It is important to stop this quickly as it can escalate really quickly into cannibalism, and once they taste blood there's no stopping them!

Do I remember that you live not that far from me? I am happy to pop out and have a look at the problem if that will help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not a fan of the spray having tried it in the past without success. Also on this occasion it doesn’t seem to be just the bum that is pecked. In fact I haven’t seen that area pecked at all. It seems to be the sides mostly and doesn’t seem vicious or agressive but more like “hey, I need a snack”. 

Since my initial posting I have found, what look like, mites on one of them so I am starting a treatment of Xeno 450 tonight. I think the little Braekel may be too small so may give her a couple of baths and dust in de instead and keep a close eye on her.

I wonder if they saw a midge or something similar and was aiming for that. Okay, perhaps I am being naive but I am hoping that’s it. I really hate the clip things but will bare them in mind if it continues or escalates.

Thank goodness they haven’t mixed with my existing girls yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going through this again - seems to be a yearly occurrence with the same poor girl going completely bald. We are about to pop the bumpa bits on the main one doing it and also one of the others just in case. It isn't particularly difficult but definitely a two person job.

They never seem overly bothered by them however they do lose a lot of weight (and generally stop laying) and despite all of my efforts to keep their food topped up so it is deep enough they never quite get the hang of eating properly with them on. I try and let them loose round the garden more as they seem to be able to eat foliage more easily than their pellets.

I've never found another way to break the habit unfortunately - I could dispose of the main culprit but she will stop for 6 months or so after each time so have persevered! She is now nearly 4.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh my goodness, that sounds dreadful and how stressful for both you and your girls. 

Does she eat the feathers or simply pluck ? Or both perhaps ?

i had three Sussex in my cube initially (about 10 years ago) and one would pluck from time to time. I found leaving the door open helped so they weren’t bored when awake, fortunately we live in a warm climate so if it happened at winter it wasn’t too hard for them. This seemed to solve the problem at the time.

what am I saying ? you have probably tried everything. Like me reading everything google has to offer 🤷🏼‍♀️ 

I have been throwing interesting food stuff in the run of my newbies. Each day something different. Giving the same to my grown up girls just outside so the little ones know what to do with it. (Yogurt was hilarious and messy). They are still a little scared of the sunflower head from a neighbouring field so I think I will take that out today and replace with a friends squishy tomatoes. It seems to have stopped, at least I didn’t see it happening yesterday🤞 Have treated them with xeno 450 just in case.

Still not too late for you to find a solution, perhaps my two pennyworth will help ?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×