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Country Discussion Topics
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Dave    Posted 03-20-2003 at 16:45:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have 55 chickens that are now 6 weeks old. They have been raised together since one day old. There are 30 Rhode Island Reds and 25 Barred Rock. Today we noticed one of thr R.I.R's has a bare spot on it's back and don't have many tail feathers. My wife said she saw others pecking on it. (around it's rear end and on the bare spot)
First:Should I take this chicken out and put it in a pen by it's self for now? I have 2 adult chickens, could I put it in with them or should I keep it by it's self?
Second: What caused this?


Andrea Hoemann    Posted 03-29-2003 at 17:24:18       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have read that if you put pine tar on the area the chickens have plucked the feathers out, when the other chickens start pecking at it again they will get a bitter taste and stop. It said this has to be done early in the pecking or it won't work, but since they are young yet, you might give it a try.

kathy in illinois    Posted 03-24-2003 at 06:03:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Most likely they just need more room. Take the little picked on one out...that happened to one of mine, and she lived on the back porch in a dog kennel for about a month. My dog thought it was her baby...followed it everywhere...didn't let her get too far...anyway, you may get one sweet little friend out of that chick. When they are big enough to go outside and find some real action diging in the dirt and chasing bugs, they wont peck at each other any more.

Kathy in Illinois

RayP(MI)    Posted 03-21-2003 at 14:34:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Years ago, they made a BLOOD RED salve to put on injured chickens. We'd also grab a couple three extras, and put a dab on each wing. The stuff tasted like HECK, and all it took was a taste to cure chickens from pecking each other. You want to stop this as soon as you can, otherwise they'll do serious damage to the rest of the flock. I don't know if you could use red food color and bag balm to make a similar salve, but it might work.

Tom A    Posted 03-21-2003 at 04:05:39       [Reply]  [Send Email]
First: yes, separate it until it heals. If you leave her in, they'll keep pecking at her until there's blood and then they will really get serious about it. Once she's pretty well healed you can put her back, although she'll be very low on the social pecking order.

Second: two likely causes. First is natural behavior for chickens, they establish a "pecking order" for who is the boss all the way to who is last little indian. They take is seriously, and will fight for their spot as they grow. Once the order is established, you won't normally see much of it; it is most prevalent during "adolescence." The red light may reduce it somewhat but is not a cure-all. Second it is made worse, and can continue forever if they are kept in overcrowded conditions. Crowd them and they will become cannibals and the lowest on the pecking order will be pecked to death.

good luck,
Tom A

fredo    Posted 03-20-2003 at 20:55:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
close off all white light then put red bulb in light socket, every thing looks red to them, they don't notice the red spot on the chick, so they don't know where to peck. has worked for me.

dan    Posted 03-23-2003 at 14:10:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
the best thing to do is take apair of side cutters and cut the point off the beeks of all the chickens.saves alot of problems. somme big operators have thier chicks debeeked when their day olds.

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