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Author Topic: Feather pecking..  (Read 323 times)

Charlie1234

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Llaithddu,powys
Feather pecking..
« on: July 17, 2017, 08:11:18 pm »
Hi All
In all my years of keeping birds I have never had a problem with feather pecking until now. I have 2 groups of 7 Indian game Youngsters..now about 12 weeks old..they each have a 12ftx12ft stable as their home + about 30ft x 15ft runs,they get plenty of cabbage,swedes etc to peck at but they constantly peck each others backs. They are on good quality growers pellets and even get the odd mealworm before bedtime.

I have asked a few mates but they recommend knocking them on the head but as I am hoping to keep them for next years breeding I would prefer to keep them.

Heard about stockholm tar + other sprays etc but do they work ? Or beak trimming ?
5 Dogs,5 cats,3 geese,26 and counting chickens,4 badger faced sheep

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Feather pecking..
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 08:29:11 pm »
Poultry saddles?

Charlie1234

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Llaithddu,powys
Re: Feather pecking..
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 08:42:32 pm »
would be useful if they pecked from 1 area but they are pecking them from anywhere they can get them.
Once they are fully grown they will have access to our paddock and a 20 acre field behind us so should be occupied enough then
5 Dogs,5 cats,3 geese,26 and counting chickens,4 badger faced sheep

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Feather pecking..
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2017, 01:08:14 pm »
Have you checked them for lice and red mite?  They may be pecking at something they can see but you can't.  I've never bred from a bird that has ever exhibited any unwanted behaviour - feather pecking, general aggression, escapology, egg-eating, etc.  Don't need the hassle.

Charlie1234

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Llaithddu,powys
Re: Feather pecking..
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2017, 08:34:01 pm »
I went into the stable lastnight with the torch,walls + perch were clear of red mite. Stable is cleaned regular and pressure washed with a defra recommended disinfectant.
I have checked the birds head to toe in daylight + after dark and I have not found anything  :thinking:

Will get my mrs to check them later,maybe she can see better than me lol
5 Dogs,5 cats,3 geese,26 and counting chickens,4 badger faced sheep

Charlie1234

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Llaithddu,powys
Re: Feather pecking..
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2017, 11:35:18 pm »
I went into the stable lastnight with the torch,walls + perch were clear of red mite. Stable is cleaned regular and pressure washed with a defra recommended disinfectant.
I have checked the birds head to toe in daylight + after dark and I have not found anything  :thinking:

Will get my mrs to check them later,maybe she can see better than me lol

Just got in from Hunt the Mites  :innocent:

Me + The wife went up to have a good look around + the birds nothing on any of them or the perches,walls etc.

The guy I just got my new trio from suggested I checked the growers pellets protein level. which has proved interesting. it is only 15%  but the layers pellets I use are 17%. Surely chcicks would need a bit more than 15%..?
5 Dogs,5 cats,3 geese,26 and counting chickens,4 badger faced sheep

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Feather pecking..
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2017, 01:06:52 pm »
Do they have access to poultry grit/calcium?  Feathers are a source of calcium.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Feather pecking..
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2017, 01:16:44 pm »
Do they have access to poultry grit/calcium?  Feathers are a source of calcium.


They wouldn't be short of calcium if on layers pellets. - it already has calcium added for the egg shell production. :thinking:
life's too short to be boring.

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Feather pecking..
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2017, 04:32:11 pm »
Think they're on 'growers' pellets, Landroverroy.

Never had this with any of mine so can't really help, sorry.

How good are your eyes. 8) Daughter spotted really tiny mites on our growers last week. She only spotted them because she sits and cuddles them and they'd crawled onto her black jeans. Almost invisible on the hens!

I'm not sure that mites would cause that kind of feather pecking though. ???

Couldn't you let them out into the paddock now? Might get them out of the habit and they'd have access to extra protein catching bugs etc if that were the problem.

Dave C

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Teesdale, Co Durham
Re: Feather pecking..
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2017, 05:55:21 pm »
One of the last batches of Welsummers I bred a few years ago did it.

They started around 10 weeks and did it until about 16 weeks then never did it again.
The worst effected was the lowest ranked cockerel who completely lost his back & tail feathers.

As soon as the were put with the main group and on free range it all stopped.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 08:24:28 pm by Dave C »

Charlie1234

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Llaithddu,powys
Re: Feather pecking..
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2017, 07:42:04 pm »
Think they're on 'growers' pellets, Landroverroy.


Couldn't you let them out into the paddock now? Might get them out of the habit and they'd have access to extra protein catching bugs etc if that were the problem.

Yes they are on Growers pellets but the 15% protein seems low to me ??

They are split into 2 groups and both groups have 30ft x 15ft runs as well as their sleeping quarters. Also feeding a few meal worms in the day + evening before they go in.

Yes they have access to mixed grit

Now adding some poultry-vitamins to their water



5 Dogs,5 cats,3 geese,26 and counting chickens,4 badger faced sheep

Charlie1234

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Llaithddu,powys
Re: Feather pecking..
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2017, 09:00:37 pm »
Picked up a bit of turkey finisher pellets off a mate yesterday,been giving them this + the vitamin boost in the water.
Spent most of the day outside watching them and I only spotted 2 occasions that it happened and both times it was the same offender. His card has been marked so will continue to watch them and if he keeps it up he will end up on his own for a few weeks then he will have his 1 way ticket to the freezer.
5 Dogs,5 cats,3 geese,26 and counting chickens,4 badger faced sheep

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Feather pecking..
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2017, 09:24:15 am »
If you can spot the offender and isolate it for a week it will re-enter the flock at the bottom of the pecking order.  I still wouldn't breed from it, though.   A good way to find red mite is to wear disposable gloves or black rubber ones and hold your hand over the perch for about 20 seconds.  The mites will sense the warmth and swarm out.  If you move your hand they'll just look likes specks of dust but wait for a minute and the specks will move.  Don't go near another poultry coop for a few hours, though - some will have already progressed onto your arm and you'll start scratching your head an hour or so later - they always move upwards.  We line small coops with split feed sacks weighted with stones or bricks.  The mites will gather under these during the day and are very easy to spot.  You can then remove the stones, plunge them into a tub of water and gather up the split sacks and bedding and put them straight on the bonfire.  It won't have removed all the red mite but will have drastically reduced the numbers.

 

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