Jump to content
Eggshell

Feather pecking and stress?

Recommended Posts

Is it possible for a chicken to peck out its own feathers out of stress? My elderly hen Penny (now nearly eight) always used to peck feathers out of my bottom chicken. Bottom chicken died recently and I got a couple of young ones and integrated them after 3 weeks of living side by side; however, they are still choosing to sleep in their separate eglus. In the last couple of weeks or so I’ve noticed a lot of small downy feathers when I open up the eglu of my solitary-sleeping older chicken in the mornings, and it seemed particularly bad after the night of the big fireworks display. I’ve checked her for lice and checked the eglu for red mites and can’t find any signs of either. Could she be doing this because she’s on her own at night and stressed (but not stressed enough to join the two new girls)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I introduced mine, I took the spare house away so the chicks had no choice but to sleep in my Cube.

If yours are getting on well, why not do the same ?

Is there a chance she could be moulting and it is more noticeable than before because she is on her own ? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of mine has plucked her own feathers out VERY badly with her moult this year. I don’t know whether she’s got some sort of parasites (I have treated her with ivermectin now) or if it’s just that she’s been really uncomfortable as the feathers have come through.

Could your Penny be coming into moult?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t think she can still be moulting - she’s already moulted this autumn and seemed to be finished a few weeks ago (unless the tail end of moulting can dribble on for weeks and weeks?). I’m a little wary of forcing them together against their will, because  Penny isn’t the most laid back of chickens and I’m worried that she’ll start pecking the new girls if she doesn’t want them in her eglu, even though things are going well outside - she’s only doing reasonable ‘top chicken’ pecking during the day, but that’s enough to make the new girls a bit wary of her. Not sure if there’s an obvious course of action…

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will do, mullethunter - thanks. No sign of it during the day at the moment. She has had a bumpa bit before, when she went through a patch of being particularly mean to one of the others, so at least I’m prepared…

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...