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Breast Feather Plucking Question

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

How long could a broody chicken continue to peck out her breast feathers if she is no longer sitting on a nest and is laying an egg every day and not acting broody, although her legs still have some orange to them and she has been away from her nest at least a month?  Could she stay broody, technically, forever, and continue to pick out her breast feathers indefinitely?

I'm trying to tease apart the broodiness chest-feather-pecking from other possible causes of it.

Thanks in advance,

Clare

post #2 of 6

If she is no longer sitting in the nest, and still plucking her feathers I would suspect mites or lice.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply.

I'm going to buy some food grade shell flour (diatomaceous earth) to put in the chickens' dust bath area. How much of it should I apply to the dirt, and do I need to cover it with pine shavings or just mix it in with my hand?

How often do I need to reapply it, if it doesn't rain?

I have just 2 hens and they share one small dust bath area.

Thanks for your help,

Clare

post #4 of 6

You need to use DE sparingly as it is so irritating when inhaled, just a dusting.  Some poultry dust or spray would give a better kill by far.  Usually it is permethrins, sometimes with pyrethrins.

Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

Reply

Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

Reply
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

How do you apply the pyrethrins?

post #6 of 6

I get a dusting powder from the feed store and mix some of it in a large 30 gallon tub filled a few inches high with equal parts peat moss and play sand.  Place the tub in the run and let the chickens dust themselves as much as they want for at least 24 hours.  Repeat weekly for three weeks. 

Or use Eprinex pour on.

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