I wonder if anyone out there could please give me some advice?
The hens have started feather pecking and it's getting desperate - a couple of them look practically oven ready. I have tried the Nettex anti feather pecking spray (goodness, it stinks too!), I have tried separating the likely aggressor but having kept a very close eye on them these last few days I have noticed that several of the hens are gathering around those hens that are in the nest box waiting to lay and they are all pecking at the laying hens feathers. Several of them are missing feathers around the neck and vent but the two largest hens (Speckled Sussex) are really suffering and have lost a lot of their feathers.
They are confined to a run - I live in an area still classed as High risk - but they've been in the same run for the last 5 months and this has only been happening for the last couple of weeks. They have diversions - logs to perch on, a dust bath, cabbages hung on strings to peck at etc.
If it was just one I could separate her from the rest, or, for the good of the others, cull her but it does appear that while one of them feather pecks much of the time, most of them seem to join in when any are in the nest boxes trying to lay.
I have 9 hens and there are four nest boxes.
I really don't know what to do. Any advice you can offer I'd be grateful.
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