Feather pecking

The place to discuss the health of your chickens.
Forum rules
Please remember the advice offered by people should not constitute a diagnosis and does not replace the advice of a qualified vet.
User avatar
dianefairhall
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:26 pm

Re: Feather pecking

Post by dianefairhall »

Icemaiden wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:25 pm
Not much help if you can't get hold of one, but when I buy a cauliflower, I cut the leaves & a circle of the base off in one piece if I can. Then I make a hole through the base with a crochet hook, pull some string through it on the crochet hook & use that to hang it up in the run. It keeps the girls entertained for a day or two, especially if they have to jump a few inches to reach it.
That's brilliant, thank you! I do have a whole cauli in the fridge which I haven't got round to eating yet so I'll cut it up tomorrow. Then I can have cauli cheese! Sorted!
Icemaiden
Full Member
Posts: 927
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:05 am

Re: Feather pecking

Post by Icemaiden »

I aim to please :-) Hope it helps.
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
User avatar
dianefairhall
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:26 pm

Re: Feather pecking

Post by dianefairhall »

It’salso a good ruse to get cauli cheese for me. OH does the cooking since my stroke and obviously it’s easier for him if we both have the same. This way he can have one of his meat-laden favourites and I can give my body time off.
Shadrach
Forum Contributor / Grower
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:50 pm

Re: Feather pecking

Post by Shadrach »

Feather pecking is often a sign of boredom and/or lack of protein.
I don't know which part of the globe you live in but it's -3C here and all the chicken tribes are out and about.
If you're in the UK then you've got the brid flu restrictions to deal with. Unfortunatley the people that dream up these rules probably don't have chickens, or much in the way of intelligence from what I've read and you can bet they won't be adhereing to the rules they want you to.

My first approach would be to let them out for a couple of hours a day supervised. I expect you're under similar restrictions due to Covid. Even prisoners are allowed some exercise in the open. As long as you're in your own back yard, or whatever, and on your own you're not likely to contract the virus.

The next thing for the chickens is getting some decent protein into them. Fish is what I give, cooked peas are good as are walnuts, just to mention a few ideas.
User avatar
dianefairhall
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:26 pm

Re: Feather pecking

Post by dianefairhall »

We're in the Outer Hebrides and it's been around -4C recently. The nearest avian flu is in Orkney, not so far as the bird flies, although there are few wild birds around just now apart from the resident sparrows. We've been giving them dried corn which OH boils up to soften it and we give it to them warm which they seem to appreciate. I've not got much fish which isn't smoked but they could share a tin of tuna with the cats. We also have walnuts. I wouldn't be happy letting them out as quite a few of the crofters keep hens and I wouldn't wish to be responsible for starting a local epidemic.
bigyetiman
Full Member
Posts: 1620
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 8:27 pm

Re: Feather pecking

Post by bigyetiman »

We do the same with cauliflower as well, they love it, got a few brussels that have got wind blown so aren't nice and round, we just pull them up and hang the stalks up by the roots, that goes down a treat also
User avatar
Hen-Gen
Full Member
Posts: 957
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 5:12 pm

Re: Feather pecking

Post by Hen-Gen »

I’d agree with Shadrach about the probable causes of feather pecking. An easy way to boost protein intake during this period of poultry confinement due to the avian flu outbreak is to feed a few dried mealworms. As these are 50% protein just a few per bird will suffice. They are available from Amazon.
I’m not sure that chickens suffer from boredom but feather pecking certainly increases if birds are overcrowded. During this avian lockdown this probably applies to most domestic poultry. This is part of the reason that I am critical of expensive and poorly built chicken coops and always advise people to search their local papers/sites and to buy a second hand garden shed. Better for the birds as high perches allow them to escape from their aggressive companions and better for you because you can go in without bending or kneeling.
A cottage on an island in the eye of the storm
User avatar
dianefairhall
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:26 pm

Re: Feather pecking

Post by dianefairhall »

Yes, that's certainly something to think about for the future, Hen-Gen. When these birds stop laying they will be allowed to live out their "retirement" so we will need new facilities for the new laying birds in any case. And the 'going in without bending or kneeling' gets more attractive all the time.

I will order some mealworms, too.
User avatar
Tweetypie
Full Member
Posts: 656
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 8:44 am

Re: Feather pecking

Post by Tweetypie »

Just jumping in as apparently its illegal to give our hens dried mealworms. Has anyone else heard of this?
Margaid
Full Member
Posts: 1672
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:27 pm

Re: Feather pecking

Post by Margaid »

Tweetypie wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:25 pm
Just jumping in as apparently its illegal to give our hens dried mealworms. Has anyone else heard of this?
Well if it is illegal then do what I did and buy live ones. CJ Wildbirdfood sell them. Put the excess in the fridge where they become comatose and they will stay alive for quite a while. Or of course you can put them out on your wild bird feeder.

I actually created my own "mealworm farm" to have a regular supply and I hated the feel of the dried worms; found the beetles and live worms much easier to handle.
Post Reply

Return to “Chicken's Health”