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Hen picking out her own feathers

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I realize this problem has been addressed before, and believe me when I say I have tried every remedy put forth on this and other  forums. My little Red Star, Cosette, is about a year old now and is in great health. She eats well, lays eggs, and gets along well with her coop mates. Trouble is, she has picked all the feathers off her back and around her neck. She was the rooster's favorite until we gave him away in January (we thought he was the problem). We also thought she was being picked on until we isolated her and discovered she was doing it herself. Here are the things I have tried:

 

  • black oil sunflower sees
  • vitamins and/or organic vinegar in water
  • higher protein chicken feed
  • yogurt
  • cat food
  • meal worms (they love these)
  • BluKote
  • Dusting for mites
  • Wazine-17 for worms
  • Rooster Booster No Pick
  • Pine Tar (2 kinds)
  • Vick's VapoRub

 

Finally, last week I took her to the vet. She checked for mites and disease - nothing. Cosette is, as I have said, completely healthy. I am almost resigned that she will always be bald, but I just wanted to check one more time to see if there is something I've missed.

 

I absolutely enjoy this web site, and it is the first place I come to when I need advice. It's nice to know there are others who really care for their chickens.

post #2 of 8

take a closer look at the feathers she is pulling out. are they broken or ruined in any sort of way? my turkey absolutely hated imperfect feathers so she would pluck out of herself every feather that was ruined in any way.

(if you have a question for me send me a PM because I don't respond to threads sorry. I LOVE TURKEYS!)
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(if you have a question for me send me a PM because I don't respond to threads sorry. I LOVE TURKEYS!)
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm assuming she eats them because I don't see any of her feathers around the coop or yard. She has many 'ruined' feathers on her wing that have been there for quite a while now. I can't figure her out ...

post #4 of 8

http://www.apa-abayouthpoultryclub.org/Edu_Material/Poultry%20Diseases/EXTERNAL%20SYMPTOMS%20FOR%20DIAGNOSING%20POULTRY%20DISEASES.pdf

 

This link mentions methionine deficiency. Black oil sunflower seeds are a good source of methionine, I have read. Hmm. I have no other suggestions for you at this time.

Small flock of Black Australorps, EEs, and Nankins.

"The love of heaven makes one heavenly." - William Shakespeare

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Small flock of Black Australorps, EEs, and Nankins.

"The love of heaven makes one heavenly." - William Shakespeare

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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the helpful link - I have read about this deficiency, and I believe I have addressed it in giving her the vitamins and seeds. This is baffling, huh? Has anyone heard of this before?

 

 

post #6 of 8

Hi my Silver Lace Wyandotte is doing exactly the same thing except she is not eating the feathers.  I will follow this with interest.  She has just become un-broody and we wondered if this might have anything to do with it.

post #7 of 8

Chickens will pull out their own feathers when they don't have enough protein in their diet. Their feathers are 85% protein so that's why they eat them.

If you have any questions about Coccidiosis, Mites & Lice, Worms, Molting, Vent Gleet, Bumble Foot, Egg Binding, or Prolapsed Oviduct, feel free to ask me about it or pm me.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mites-lice-treatment-and-prevention
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickens-loosing-feathers-managing-your-flocks-molt
Reply
If you have any questions about Coccidiosis, Mites & Lice, Worms, Molting, Vent Gleet, Bumble Foot, Egg Binding, or Prolapsed Oviduct, feel free to ask me about it or pm me.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/mites-lice-treatment-and-prevention
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickens-loosing-feathers-managing-your-flocks-molt
Reply
post #8 of 8
My otherwise healthy hen has just started same.. We have 6 hens that are about 1 yr they are all good layers and get along.. I feed the "extra egg" and give them scratch for treat. The coop and yard have fresh hay each week.. If protein is the answer what do you suggest to supplement ?
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