PICKING in poultry, whether young or old, will most often occur if the birds are:
a) too hot.
b) too crowded.
c) short of fresh air.
d) lack of protein in their feed
e) coop is too brightly lit.
Once picking starts it is very difficult to stop. Using Vaseline on their behinds will help prevent further injury and allow the area to heal. Action should be taken promptly when picking is first noticed. Check against the points mentioned above to determine the cause & correct the problem. Darken the coop for birds over 2 weeks of age. For laying birds, we recommend adding curtains to their nest boxes.
If the problem continues, beak treatment may be required. To do so, trim the hook off the top beak and cauterize. Also if your birds are eating a lot of snacks from your yard: eg. grass, grasshoppers, table scraps, they may have a protein deficiency.
A warm, dry, ventilated barn with quality feed and fresh water will minimize your risk of a picking problem developing.