2nd Chicken to die in 2 weeks- Need advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jennasmommy05, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Jennasmommy05

    Jennasmommy05 New Egg

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    Dec 17, 2012
    Chickens were laying up until they started molting. After they finished molting they never started back to laying. Someone told us we were feeding them too much, so we cut back on our feed and they still aren't laying. We found one dead in the coop last week, with feathers plucked out and then one again today dead, with feathers plucked out. Can anyone give us some feedback as to what may be going on?
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If they are eating feathers they are craving protein in my opinion.

    Layers won't usually overeat. I offer free choice feed 24/7 to my layers. Now if they are meat birds (cornish crosses) that is different and you should tell folks if they are.

    It is important if you want eggs to give them high quality feed- eggs are protein. To make new feathers and to make eggs they need lots of protein.

    Layer feed is usually 16% protein, and chick starter/Flock Raiser is 20% usually.

    I'd give them a feeder full of laying pellets or unmedicated chick starter/Flock Raiser (with oyster shells on the side to help with strong eggs since the chick starter and Flock Raiser don't have enough calcium for layers). The 20% protein feed you could just give them for awhile until their feather picking is gone, then go back to layer pellets/crumble.

    Some people do this every year for the molt, to assist feather regrowth.

    If they still insist on feather picking you can put pinless peepers on them (chicken blinders).
    A lighter weight hen will eat about 4 oz. of feed per day, to give you an idea of how much feed they should be going through. This will vary all over the map, depending on if free ranging and the temperature outside. In cold weather they eat more and if free ranging they usually eat less if forage is good.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
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  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    The other possibility is that you have some kind of predator, like a rat, killing them and eating the feathers.

    I haven't dealt with this, but you might try doing a search to see if other people have had that happen if no one else responds.

    Oh and there is one other possibility I just thought of. If you are having deaths from illness and then the chickens are coming by and eating the feathers off the dead one, you might need to be alert for other signs of illness in the flock.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  4. Jennasmommy05

    Jennasmommy05 New Egg

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    Dec 17, 2012
    Thank you. I'll try a different feed and see if this helps.
     
  5. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome to BYC [​IMG]

    I agree with everything ChickensAreSweet has already said, so I won't say much more. The only thing I would add is that you might try to give us more details about your hens and your setup so that we can figure out of they are ill or if there's a way for predators to get into your coop. Don't forget to keep us updated on how it goes!
     

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