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You are Here: Home -> Forums -> Health/Care -> Pecking

Topic: Pecking (4 messages)

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Pecking (4 messages)
Posted By Message Posted On Report

McMurray Hatchery
I notice that my chickens are pecking at each other sometimes causing loss of feathers and leaving bare spots. What can I do?
5/10/2012 12:17 PM report abuse
Score: 1
I'm not sure....are they bored or too crowded?
6/21/2012 9:35 PM report abuse
Score: 0
i would say it is the heat if it is hot like it is where i live or they may not have enought room to get the grass they need
6/21/2012 9:59 PM report abuse
Score: 34
Most of the time when they are pecking at each other enough to cause bald spots it is because they don't have enough space to move around. If they are crowded or bored they will feather pick. The general rule is 4 feet inside the coop per bird if they have the ability to get outside into a run or to free range. If they are in a run then they need 10 feet per bird in the run in addition to the space in the coop. If they free range all of the time and only go in the coop to roost than they can deal with slightly less than that. There is a pecking order and each can be bullied by any of the birds higher in the hierarchy. Provide obstacles and hiding places for the birds that are being pecked and chased to be able to use to escape. Giving them something to do helps. Try hanging a head of cabbage for them to jump and get or (my chicken's favorite) a watermelon rind cut up into pieces and thrown in different areas of the run to pick clean. Another reason they tend to feather pick is if there are too many roosters. One rooster per every 8-12 hens is usually a good rule. It keeps the roosters from being too rough on the hens and keeps the roosters from fighting (as well as keeping the eggs fertile if you are hatching). Sometimes chickens pick at each other because they are lacking some kind of nutrient. Make sure they are getting enough protein and calcium. The protein and calcium levels depends on the age, sex, and breed of chicken.
6/22/2012 9:14 PM report abuse