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Would you change feeds based on one chicken?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I have one hen that I can't figure out if she is feather picking herself or if the ducks are doing it. Pretty much ruled out the other hens. I never find her feathers. Bare above the tail, under wings, shoulders. Currently wearing a hensaver. This started about 6 weeks ago. I think she is thinner despite a RAVENOUS appetite but she could just look that way because of less feathers. No signs of worms or external parasites. Good, large, formed poops. Lays beautiful eggs daily.


I am finishing up my 2nd bag of Nutrena Country Feeds All Flock after feeding Dumor while my birds were growing (they are all 31 weeks). I am not sure if starting the new feed and her feather loss was a coincidence or not…. they were also locked up more due to weather, their run was winterized with plastic, and she started laying.


ALL if my other hens are good weight, beautiful feathers, 2 are laying. 


I give them BOSS and mealworms daily (total of probably a cup between the 2 ducks and 5 hens). They get a handful of cracked corn at dusk. Some veggie scraps during the day if I have them (no more than a cup lately). Oyster shell is free choice. Flock block in run although they seem not too interested in it.


Thinking of trying Purina Flock Raiser or Nutrena Feather Fixer….higher protein and other higher nutrients when I compared labels. Mostly thinking of switching to see if the additional/different nutrients help this hen out, or maybe give the ducks something additional in case they are the ones doing it.



post #2 of 3

Purina Flock Raiser is pretty much the same thing as Nutrena All Flock, both are about 18% protein. The main difference in Feather Fixer is that it's got enough calcium in it that you don't need to supplement with oyster shell. It's still about 18% protein, but a bit higher in fat.

I'm guessing that a lack of space or boredom is your issue. How big is their run?

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

When I looked at the nutrients- the All Flock was 18% protein and the Purina was 20%…Purina was also higher in all other nutrients. But maybe that isn't a big enough difference to do anything? 


None of my other birds have issues...


Here is a pic of my setup (from the summer obviously)….the run extends under the coop for a total length of 14 feet and 4 feet wide. The main run is 8'x4' and 6 feet high with a roost. It is covered.  The coop is 4x6. The ducks spend their time under the coop- they do not go inside so the the hens have some area that is away from them. The coop has 2 roosts and 4 nesting boxes.  




Currently the screened areas, with the exception of the door, are covered with plastic for the winter.


They get to free range every day for several hours unless I am not going to be home. Usually 10am or so until they put themselves away at dusk. We have a big fenced yard- they get to be in the top 1/3 of it (sectioned by Omlet fencing because of a new dog). You can sort of see the area they get to play in in this pic taken 2 weeks ago.


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