Advice re pecking

General discussion forum.
User avatar
SusanH
Starting to Crow
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:46 pm
Location: Sydenham, ON
x 314

Advice re pecking

Post by SusanH » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:31 am

Sigh. I know this isn’t anything unusual, but its the first for me, and I don't remember what the wisdom was. I have a Polish crested chicken that will soon not be crested. The mean girls have pecked her nearly bald and today there was even a little blood. She stands her ground. Tonight i watched Millie (polish) and Mercedes (wyandotte) get up on the top roost, and Mercedes began to peck viciously at her head, but she didn't budge. It’s so sad. The tonsure has been expanding day by day.

Any ideas? Do i need to separate them? I don't know how i would do that. I could keep Millie in a mini coop by herself, but that seems harsh, with spring coming, and if her crest feathers grow back, then what? Would going back to the flock even be an option? Sorry to ask such a lame old question, but there you are.

Thanks for any help.
0

User avatar
Jaye
Poultry Guru - chick level
Posts: 2574
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:14 am
Answers: 3
Location: E Ontario
x 2467

Re: Advice re pecking

Post by Jaye » Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:37 am

I think if you decide that the best solution is to separate them, then separate the perpetrator, not the victim.
I know that many on this site have had very good results with pinless peepers. Not sure where to source them, but maybe someone else can give suggestions, or if you do a search on this site for pinless peepers you will find more info on them. Good luck!
Last edited by Jaye on Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
0
RIP Scooby, AKA Awesome Dog. Too well loved to ever be forgotten. "Sometime in June", 2005 - January 24, 2017. :feed ducks:

User avatar
Farrier1987
Head Chicken
Posts: 1181
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:46 pm
Location: Chatham-Kent
x 2588

Re: Advice re pecking

Post by Farrier1987 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:49 am

Also, is this happening during the day, all day? If its only on the perch, separate them at night. Dog kennel or something.
1
Farrier1987. South of Chatham on Lake Erie. Chickens, goats, horse, garden, dog, cat. Worked all over the world. Know a little bit about a lot of things. No incubator, broody hens.

User avatar
Ontario Chick
Poultry Guru
Posts: 4337
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:12 am
Answers: 1
Location: Carp - West Ottawa
x 7364

Re: Advice re pecking

Post by Ontario Chick » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:59 am

I have used the pinless peepers @Jaye mentioned, when flock of hens were going to take apart their lovely rooter, who stood there like a lump. It was a very temporary solution just until his comb healed, not really anything that can be used permanently.
With the Ameraucanas it was the same problem, the rooster would start out the season with beautiful beard and then I watched the hens lovingly strip it, while he was just letting them do it.
Some of it may be caused by boredom, but more likely it starts because the feathers are wet from drinking, that gets their attention and then it's just fun.
Short of making her a lovely bonnet, probably not much you can do, separating and then recombining the birds, brings with it other problems
1
Keeper of Columbian, Blue and Black Wyandottes

User avatar
Killerbunny
Poultry Guru - total zen level
Posts: 6041
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:04 pm
Answers: 3
Location: Brockville
x 7443

Re: Advice re pecking

Post by Killerbunny » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:04 am

Poor Frank has his legs plucked every winter!
0
:iheartpto:
Beltsville Small White turkeys.
Mutt chickens for eggs
RIP Stephen the BSW Tom and my coffee companion.
RIP Lucky the Very Brave Splash Wyandotte rooster.
RIP little Muppet the rescue cat.
:turkey:

:bat:

User avatar
kenya
Henny Penny
Posts: 4036
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:14 pm
Answers: 1
Location: Stratford,ontario
x 3899

Re: Advice re pecking

Post by kenya » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:35 am

With any crested breeds they do better alone, sad but the other birds pick on them.
1

User avatar
Ontario Chick
Poultry Guru
Posts: 4337
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:12 am
Answers: 1
Location: Carp - West Ottawa
x 7364

Re: Advice re pecking

Post by Ontario Chick » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:52 am

kenya wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:35 am
With any crested breeds they do better alone, sad but the other birds pick on them.

It's a bit like high school ;)
1
Keeper of Columbian, Blue and Black Wyandottes

User avatar
kenya
Henny Penny
Posts: 4036
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:14 pm
Answers: 1
Location: Stratford,ontario
x 3899

Re: Advice re pecking

Post by kenya » Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:55 pm

The crest will grow back but they will just pluck it again, get another friend for her and do social isolation. Maybe a couple bantams to keep her company.
1

User avatar
SusanH
Starting to Crow
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:46 pm
Location: Sydenham, ON
x 314

Re: Advice re pecking

Post by SusanH » Sat Mar 28, 2020 3:23 am

Ok. I do have a friend for her, Nanette, another Polish crested who doesn’t get picked on. They could be roomies in a separate pen, but I would need to build it. She is walking around naked anyway, looking like a supermarket chicken walking at the back, having decided their huge fenced yard wasn't big enough and gone exploring, just in time to get chased and caught by the dogs. At least this time they didn't shake her to death, just pinned her down and ripped out feathers before i got her away from them. Poor Nanette. I thought she was a goner but I put her under my coat and held her while I did some knitting for a while. I felt her little heart pounding wildly (or was that mine) and then gradually slowing, and she stopped gasping. I put her in a cat carrier in the dark. The next time I checked on her, she had laid an egg, and the next morning I set her back out and she seems fine.

I think they would be a good pair. Both have interesting personalities.i would get more Polish in a heartbeat. Sleeping in trees and jumping on my lap and butting me with their crests. Whats not to like.

I am intrigued by the idea of a bonnet. I did try putting neosporin on Millie’s head and binding the remaining feathers up in a ponytail, but she scratched it right off. I might try tape instead of hair elastic.

I could isolate the perpetrators, but they are big fat Wyandottes that would never fit in my isolation coop. The polish girls are petite and dainty enough to share it. The other three chickens will be going back to their snowbird mom now that she is home, so I’ll be back to two Polish and two Wyandottes and two ducks. There is lots of room. I would hate to have to split them up.

Now I will go look at the peepers. Intrigued to learn what they are!
0

User avatar
SusanH
Starting to Crow
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:46 pm
Location: Sydenham, ON
x 314

Re: Advice re pecking

Post by SusanH » Sat Mar 28, 2020 3:33 am

I forgot to say thank you all for your wise advice as always!
0

Post Reply

Return to “Around the Waterer”