Wednesday, February 24, 2010

FEATHER PECKING

Winslow never in his wildest dreams thought he would be sharing a room with a chicken. The issue at hand- feather pecking. The culprit- Georgia.
The innocent victim- Sweet Henny Penny. I never would have imagined one of my girls behavior becoming so vicious. And why? As far as chickens go they lead a very comfortable existence. They reside in proper accommodations(not over crowded), nutritious feed and treats (grit and calcium also provided), free range weather permitting, and as far as I can see no external parasites. Chicken mama's I need your help. Could it be I am over looking something vital to their co- existence?

I cleaned poor Henny's wound and applied Blu-Kote.
Her accommodations for the next few days-Winslow's travelling dog crate.

This afternoon my sweet girl laid her egg in this crate and carried on with all her usual exuberant trumpeting. I am treating her to a five star hotel room accommodation. I can only imagine this as I myself have never stayed in a five star hotel. Dining is on antique Currier and Ives china and dinner this evening consists of organic blueberries and yogurt.
Rest assured Henny Penny, your chicken momma will keep you safe,
for tonight anyway.
(In the coop I have hung a seed block to aid in the girl's desire to peck and also added unfiltered apple cider to their water, an old fashioned remedy I found on a chicken keeping site.) I welcome any and all other chicken ideas and suggestions. Thank you once again! Things are never dull here at Dog Trot Farm....





14 comments:

Laura said...

Sorry, I have no clue what to do about that problem. Will be curious to know if your rememdies work. Henny looks none the worse for the wear and is probably loving the gourmet diet. Winslow is very cute too.

Gail said...

I am blank...in my experience, there sometimes is no seen reason. Maybe a different color, or a spot on their feathers, they just start pecking.

You shall have to wait for someone else to supply chicken wisdom. You have done all the things I would do. I am at a loss.

Eve said...

Julie...where's the diaper??? You and Henny could just hang all day together and maybe she could help you bake a cake...she'll get the eggs!!!
Sleep well girls!

henbogle said...

Ohh, poor Henny Penny! I'm sorry to hear you are having problems :-(

Fortunately, I have not had to deal with this problem, so I don't have any advice, other than check out the Backyard Chickens Forum. http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/index.php

The forums have been a great resource for me.

Ali

Together We Save said...

Mom to the rescue!! I have no advice but I an impressed with the cider thing.

rockriverstitches said...

Awww poor Henny Penny. Hope she is feeling better soon. I just love your chicken pics!

Tammy

Robin said...

I love that picture of Henny Penny looking out at you in the dog crate. Very cute. Sorry, I don't have any advice either. I also haven't had to deal with that problem yet.

Leslie said...

I am looking for a remedy too. After Gizmo, the victim, has been removed. The feather picker has been working on a couple of my Buffs. I have watched her and she eats the feathers that she picks out of their tails. Then some of the tail feathers bleed and it leads to others pecking at it. I have pulled many blood feathers out with pliers lately. I have read that if they have a red light bulb in their coop it helps. I also recently read that if you put iodine on the wound they won't pick at it. I haven't tried either so not sure if they work.

So funny, I too have a chicken living inside for the time being to protect her from the mean girls. I will probably write a little something about her soon. She is a special one.

Cedar ... said...

Perhaps Georgia is only asserting herself as the flock leader,... you know "pecking order?" Poor Henny. However, with china dishes and luxurous digs I doubt she'll ever want to leave the hosue! :) you are a good chicen mama!

voiceofpendergrass said...

I love this blog and I love Henny Penny. I do hope her wounds heal quickly.

Razzberry Corner said...

Hello, Julie. I have had alot of chicken issues similar, but not exactly like yours, although I still think of myself as a new chicken Momma. I have the feed block, thinking the chickens just need something entertaining to peck at. I put it in the coop - they have plenty of outside entertainment when they are outside. They ate the first block in a few weeks and now there's a new one in the coop. I sometimes also use the apple cider in the water. I also give them grit and calcium. I have noticed that all feathers that come out in the coop ALWAYS get eaten. I have no idea why. Once, when my husband was away, I trimmed all the birds wings in the coop & didn't clean up the clippings right away. When I went to clean up the coop the next day ALL the feather clippings were gone. It's weird that they eat feathers, but they do. Whenever one of my birds comes into the house with a bad injury they get penecillin in their water to help them heal (no apple cider then). I got the chicken diaper, but never had the guts to use it on an injured chicken. When I bought it I had a hen who was having a real tough time with a broken foot, and I didn't want to stress her out anymore. Then the next hen inside was laying eggs, and I didn't know how that would work with an egg in the diaper... I think you know what you are doing, and if you're not doing something right, let me know, cause I'm overlooking it, too! My best recommendation is to continue what you are doing, kepping her separate until she heals. You are an excellent chicken Momma!
-Lynn

Dog Trot Farm said...

Thank you everyone for all your kind comments and concern. I will keep you all up dated and If I find any new helpful information I will share with all!

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

Hi, I saw your comment about feather picking on the Critter Farm blog and hope you don't mind I decided to pop on over. I had a feather picking/plucking issue in my flock in 2008. It wasn't easy, but I managed to eliminate it without culling any chickens. I now firmly believe the biggest contributor to this behavior is boredom. At any rate, here is what I wrote about it and the approach I took. Maybe you can find something useful in it. I wish you the very best of luck - I know how incredibly frustrating it is to deal with this issue.

PS - Henny Penny is a cutie! I like her name :)

Penny

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

Ugh - and then I forgot the link! Sorry about that. Here it is http://backtobasicliving.com/blog/feather-pickingplucking-and-cannibalism/

Penny