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sallyjoe View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: picking chickens
    Posted: 13 Feb. 07 at 08:51

I have  14 chickens ...12 hens and 2 roosters.  During this time of the year they need to be in the coop a lot since there is a lot of snow and extreme cold at times.  A few of the hens have started picking the feathers out of the backs of the other hens and even the one rooster at times. I have even seen them eat the feathers  after they pick them out. They are all Wyandotts, but  the ones doing the picking are gold laced ones and seem to be more aggressive then the others. I try to give them a high protein diet and a variety of greens etc. . Is there a remedy that I can give that might help this? I've tried getting a book called Backyard Poultry-Naturally  which I believe has homeopathic info but cannot seem to find a copy. Most of the books I have found only deal with dogs and cats. 

Also my two roosters just started fighting, which I guess is normal, but maybe there is a remedy to calm them down too ? I hate to see  blood !

Any info would be greatly appreciated !

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb. 07 at 09:26

Hi Sally joe,

With chickens it is difficult to find out the reason why they are picking on the other ones. There are bachflower remedies that will help, but to choose the right ones, we need to know why they do this. Is it jealousy, intolerance, are they dominant. And the chickens that let them selves picked at, they need also a remedie. Try to find out more, or try to give them more space.

Mirjam

 

 

Bachflower practitioner BFRP
www.bachbloesemremedie.nl
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb. 07 at 13:51
Hmmmmmmm...why does a chicken pick ? Unfortunately cannibalism is common in chickens ( how nice ) ! They  started doing this since they are in the coop more often. But the ones that are picking seem to be a little larger, and as I said more aggressive.  The ones originally being picked were quieter and calmer ones, although now there are very few who haven't been picked including some of the aggressive ones ! Even when they were still going out in the yard there was picking going on so don't know that it is from lack of space at the moment. They have plenty of nest boxes, food, water etc. Maybe they are just mean chickens !
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb. 07 at 02:55

Hi Sally,

You can try these Bach flowers (It won't do anyharm anyway):

Vine: For the chickens that are agressive because they are dominant        &nbs p;       

Beech: For the chickens that pick because they are intollerant

Centaury:For the chickens that let themself be picked on (don't fight back)

Walnut: For all off them to help them accept there new situation

You can put 4 drops off each remedy in the water for all the chickens, the chickens that 'need' a certain remedy will get what they need. When you refresh the water put the remedies in again. Try this for a month and let me hear what happend please. This also important for me to know what works.

Mirjam

Bachflower practitioner BFRP
www.bachbloesemremedie.nl
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb. 07 at 09:55

Mirjam -

I had looked through my Bach book and vine was one of the remedys that  had sounded appropriate. I have some centaury , but will have to get the others and then will definitely try them. Thanks so much for your help !

Sally

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb. 07 at 10:44

Sallyjoe, I see you have a problem with the picking on each other of your chickens. I raised chickens for years and grew up on a farm where we always had chickens. When you coop them up in the winter it is always worse. While you are waiting for the Bach remedies to work, you can also put something on the wounds. As long as a chicken is bleeding the others will peck at them. I have seen chickens almost dead from this if it is not stopped immediately. I believe we used a salve simimilar to coal tar or such but maybe I only thought that because it stank so bad and was black, but it will stop the other hens from picking at the wound. It will stop the bleeding and let it heal up.

This is not homeopathic at all but I do know that with chickens unless you have a way to separate the hen/hens which are being pecked at they will suffer much more damage. Chickens will peck at anything that looks like blood. They do not do so, so much in the summer and warmer months if outside because they can do their hunting for worms and insects and such. They do require protien and when winter comes and they only get grains, they look for other sources of protein. The other hens provide that.

Go to your local farm store and tell them you need the black salve for your chickens. I am sure they still make it. If it smells like sulfur then it is the right one. It ALWAYS worked.  It is called Pine Tar! I had my memory jogged by that guy in the Netherlands....heh. Thanks!

Ours used to come in a can and we used a small paint brush to dab it on with. We used it for the chickens when they got bloody, used it for the horses when they had hoof problems. Ect ect ect. This is not to say that homeopathics along side with it will not work because they will. It is just that this is something chickens do, have done and will probably continue as long as there are chickens.

Wise Owl



Edited by Wise Owl - 19 Feb. 07 at 09:16
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb. 07 at 15:49

Wise Owl-

Thanks for your input. I know the product you are talking about..I think they sell it through Mc Murry Hatchery..I will order some. I have been spraying them with a product called blue coat which also helps heal and is a bluish - purple color and kind of hides the red blood, and I also have a red light in the coop which is supposed to help them not see blood. Every little bit of information helps !

Sally

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb. 07 at 16:32

Sally, do you have any bait stores in your area? Like for fishing bait? If you do, you could try buying some wax worms for them. You could also look at that Hatchery for something similar. I think the problem is the lack of live protien in their diets in the winter. When they are out in the summer scratching around, they are eating all number of insects, worms, ect. If you have any kind of fishing lakes nearby there should be someplace that you can buy live bait. Even trout worms (red worms) would work to help the situation. They would be busy digging around for those tasty morsels instead of eating each other.

Just a thought.

Wise Owl

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb. 07 at 00:30
Originally posted by Wise Owl

Sally, do you have any bait stores in your area? Like for fishing bait? If you do, you could try buying some wax worms for them. You could also look at that Hatchery for something similar. I think the problem is the lack of live protien in their diets in the winter. When they are out in the summer scratching around, they are eating all number of insects, worms, ect. If you have any kind of fishing lakes nearby there should be someplace that you can buy live bait. Even trout worms (red worms) would work to help the situation. They would be busy digging around for those tasty morsels instead of eating each other.

Just a thought.

Wise Owl

Very Wise Idea , Wise Owl

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www.bachbloesemremedie.nl
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb. 07 at 05:14
Yes we have plenty of bait stores around so worms are easy to come by. I think I also read that they like meal worms which I can get at a local bird feed place, although they are pretty expensive. May give them both a try . Thanks !
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb. 07 at 06:23

Here is a great site I just ran across from the magazine, Backyard Poultry. Some very good articles on raising chickens. Everything to portable coops to the feed you should use in different times of year. They have several back issues available to read online.
This magazine has been around forever. We used to get it when I was growing up on the farm. There is a section on pecking there also but I do not see where the advice is much different than what was here. I did read that nutrients should be different in the winter with lower protien and higher calorie content. There is even one article about growing fresh sprouts for the chickens. I grow wheat grass for my cat and dog so they have it to munch on for exta vitamins.

http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/issues/current.html#top

Please let us know how the "fresh meat" for your chickens turns out. If nothing else, your birds will stay pretty busy chasing those worms around.  I suspect you may have the happiest birds in the county!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb. 07 at 07:03

Wise Owl -

 

Thanks for your info. I do get Backyard Poultry magazine and have read the article you are talking about ! I got the Pine Tar the other day and will give it a try.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 March 07 at 08:36
Originally posted by mirjam

Hi Sally,

You can try these Bach flowers (It won't do anyharm anyway):

Vine: For the chickens that are agressive because they are dominant        & ;nbs p;       

Beech: For the chickens that pick because they are intollerant

Centaury:For the chickens that let themself be picked on (don't fight back)

Walnut: For all off them to help them accept there new situation

You can put 4 drops off each remedy in the water for all the chickens, the chickens that 'need' a certain remedy will get what they need. When you refresh the water put the remedies in again. Try this for a month and let me hear what happend please. This also important for me to know what works.

Mirjam

Hi Sally Jo,

Did you start the Bach remedies? And if so, did you see any change yet?

Mirjam

Bachflower practitioner BFRP
www.bachbloesemremedie.nl
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sept. 07 at 05:35

Just wanted to let you know I did try the Bach Flower remedies that you recommended.

I think they helped some....I do not see them picking at each other and eating feathers as they once did , but thier feathers have never grown back in so I guess they are either still picking at each other at some time when I don't see them or the feathers are not growing back because of the rooster "treading " on them ?

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