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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, one of my hens (I think the RIR or my Java) keep pecking my EE. They were just tearing out feathers near her tail. Well, she started laying a few days ago and they attack her when she is in a nesting box trying to lay her eggs. They pecked all the way deep under the skin (fat and tissue is showing now). I doctored it with an antibiotic ointment (not sure if this is bad or not) and have since put her in an adjacent run and in a carrier at night in the garage. I ordered her a chicken saddle to cover that area. I have seen some people hanging little curtains over the boxes but not sure if they help.

I feel awful and sick that she is getting hurt because she is such a sweet girl. Maybe they are jealous that her eggs are prettier. kidding....

Any other suggestions?

Thanks for any help!!!
 

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I had a similar problem when all my girls decided to peck my extremely subordinate roo. They plucked his rear bald. I asked the forum for help and someone said buy some Blue Kote at the feed store and spray him. I guess it sterilizes wounds as well as tastes REALLY bad. They stopped plucking him after I used it. As for the nesting box issue I don't know.. maybe someone else would. I've heard too many stories of RIRs being aggressive towards other birds to really try any (and they're the breed you see everywhere here.) In any event I hope you can solve it. Good luck!
 

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RIR do tend to be aggressive. So do Barred Rocks. I have both. Introducing a more mild tempered bird is hard but doable if you have balance of them I've found. I have 4 more aggressive ones and 3 very docile hens. Banty - well that sassy pants is in a league of her own.:p I got the saddle for my Australorp but it didn't really help much and she hated it. Best luck I had was getting her some buddies. Now they all intermix just fine, even when I added in my Ameraucana late Sept. Occasional peck here and there but nothing like it used to be when I had Lilah on her own (australorp). Blue Kote is suppose to be really good. I've never had to use it but have always heard it works well. And yes, those super pretty eggs may be making for a jealousy issue. ;) hahaha :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks so much for the feedback. I will pick up or order the Blue-kote tomorrow and wear gloves. Not sure how to break the habit of her getting picked on though. She just freezes and takes the abuse. So sad! I just feel so awful for her. It is really bothering me. I do have 2 docile hens (polish and EE)and 2 dominant ones (java and RIR) and a roo (silkie) so I thought I was pretty split on personalities but I guess not. I didn't know enough when I bought the chicks....just went on looks. I am learning now though. Thanks again! Much appreciated! :)
 

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I had a hen doing the same thing, picking on all the other hens. So took her down a notch. I trimmed one of her wings so she couldn't get up on the roost. She was forced to sleep on the ground while the more docile hens were then roosting above her. Believe it or not this worked!
 

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can you keep her seperate? in her own run and sleep seperate at night. bit extreem i know.
 

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The sight of the blood and the red raw tissue will attract more pecking, and that is where the Blue Kote comes in. It coats the area in a blue color (and hands) that the other birds are not interested in. Keep the area blue until it's not red anymore. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thx everyone. I have been keeping her in a separate run during the day but she just paces back and forth wanting to get back in with the others and in a dog crate in the garage at night. I don't think she minds coming in, she gets treats in the house and lap time before bed. Spoiled! I did go to TSC yesterday and picked up the Blue Kote. I sprayed it on her this morning and she is in with the others right now. So far, so good. Keep your fingers crossed! Thx again!
 

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A Round American Woman
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Yes, blue kote is great stuff!

It can be tough to mix different breeds in so little numbers. I like to have blocks of the same breed, at least 6 to 10 of the same. It helps with the severe picking because they each have others that look like they do. It can sometimes be as simple as a plain breed pecking at the markings of a colored breeds feathers. Once blood is drawn all bets are off, they can't help themselves. That's really when blue kote comes in. It sterilizes the wound, keeps dirt out and colors it so that the blood doesn't show.
 

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I have 3 RIRs and 3 Barred Rocks. A friend up the road has 3 commercial chicken houses for producing fertile eggs and when he got his last batch of hens, he "secretly" gave me 4. They are large framed chickens and they have featherless butts. My other hens pecked their butts till they bled so we tried the blue kote on them. It did not work for me and I wound up having to euthanize the four.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update

So, I bought the chicken saddle and it seems to be working. Her wound is healing nicely which has allowed me to stop using the Blue-Kote. The spot they were pecking is hidden under her saddle. She doesn't mind wearing it either. She looks cute too! ha!
 

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I have had the same problem with one of the girls plucking feathers from the others. I have had great results using Well-Horse. It's a natural antibiotic and helps to discourage the behavior. I spray on the bald areas and a light mist on the hind feathers. It cleared up the redness/inflammation and appears to have slowed/stopped the plucking. At very least it helps the healing and if the plucking continues I will have some chicken noodle soup!
 

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I should mention that it was one golden dotte that picked on the other three. When I sprayed the three with Well-Horse, she went after the others (1 RIR, 2 buff or, 2 Plymouth Rock). Now all but the meanie get the spray.
 

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andre831 said:
I should mention that it was one golden dotte that picked on the other three. When I sprayed the three with Well-Horse, she went after the others (1 RIR, 2 buff or, 2 Plymouth Rock). Now all but the meanie get the spray.
Time for chicken soup!
 

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I'm fairly confident that if I have an abusive chicken it will not be in the flock long. I would re-home it on a plate next to the taters. :eek:
 

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I'm fairly confident that if I have an abusive chicken it will not be in the flock long. I would re-home it on a plate next to the taters. :eek:
Another good option is sending them to "Freezer Camp". Never had one give me any problems after that. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Although I certainly appreciate the feedback and humor... but our chickens are our pets that we love. Plus, I do not eat chicken. She is still wearing her saddle and that seems to be working and breaking their habit of pecking. She has new feather growth too. I will check out the Well-Horse too. Thanks for the suggestions!
 

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Although I certainly appreciate the feedback and humor... but our chickens are our pets that we love. Plus, I do not eat chicken...
I apologize for posting in a manor that was inappropriate concerning your pets that are important to you.
 

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I would agree. At first sign of the behavior it's time for soup.

Mine went to the plate. At first I was hopeful the Well Horse would stop the behavior; all it did was redirect the location she was plucking. Wish I put her in a pot earlier.

Has anyone ever seen plucking stop? If so what did you use? From what I have heard it sounds like once they start they are unlikely to stop.
 
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