Aagggggh! My Muff has lost her muffs!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by keeperofthehearth, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. [​IMG] [​IMG] My favorite EE girl Muff has lost her Muffs! Someone has plucked them all off! They were so beautiful and full! Even some of her beard is missing!
    Her muffs have been getting pretty wet because of the way she drinks and they were so large so I hadn't noticed before. I think this just happened in the last day or two. The girls should have enough room in coop & inclosed run & I've given them treats, things to occupy them etc. BUT it has been so cold and windy so they've not been allowed outside for a good week till today. A few are in molt and I just didn't want that minus degree wind on them. Oh for spring to arrive!!!!!!
    I'm sure it's one of the girls who generally roost next to her. Should I try and find her a new spot to roost? I will be separating the EE's out in the next month to breed with our #1 EE rooster but now I am worried to wait that long. [​IMG]
  2. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    Is Muff going through molt too?
  3. No. I brought her in for a quick treat and to look her over. Everything looks well execpt the loss of her muffs and half her beard. Some shortened broken feathers around her face. When I put her back into the coop I placed her in a different location but she just moved her way around back to her old place. This had to of happened just in the last day or two. I just changed the old light out, it seemed pretty dim, now I am thinking it was too bright. I went back in and put a lower watt back in. Yikes! I hope that brighter light wasn't the trigger. I thought it would make them happier since it's been so cloudy and they've been stuck inside pretty much.
  4. soonerdog

    soonerdog Songster

    I still think you might have another in the bunch that picked her beard and muff. Keep a watch to see what is going on and how the others are treating her. I just hate feather pickers! I have killed chickens for feather picking. Once one starts that mess they can teach it to the rest of the flock. Best of luck, Soonerdog
  5. Oh no! I have never had trouble before! Is there a way to "teach" them not to feather pick? I won't put up with this but I'd hate to lose one of my girls.
  6. Well, I didn't do that right. I was replying to Soonerdog's "Once one starts that mess they can teach it to the rest of the flock. "
  7. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    I agree with soonerdog...feather pickers are culled here as well. Some things to watch that can lead to the start is...not enough space, boredom, diet (lack of nutrients or malabsorption issues). I'd keep with the dimmer light as well, as some birds get really irritated with bright light. Sometimes black oil sunflower seeds help with feather picking. Also you could throw a head of cabbage in the pen for them to peck at for a tasty snack or cut a pumpkin in half and let them feast.

    Generally feather pickers pick at the rump area and can cause terrible bleeding and even death. For those, it is common to use a product like Hot Pik, which tastes awful and they tend to stay away from the area they were picking at. We use it for pheasants when they get naughty in their growout stage. However, I wouldn't use it near the face area.

    A couple things could be going on with your girl, but I am thinking someone is pulling her beard out as well. She could have a slow moult going on or she could have beard mites as well. Typically you would see sacs on the shafts if she had mites. By the sound of it, there is feather breakage, which is a sign of picking. Keep an eye on her. Not only can they cause damage to her feathers, but if she is being bullied, they may force her not to eat or drink, which can lead to bigger problems for her.

  8. Thanks Jody! I will be keeping a close eye on things. I just checked on the girls and Muff is sleeping between two of the older girls ( Lucy a BO & Poquita a Australorp) in the opposite direction fm them. Her she usually sleeps that way. Her head towards the wall while most of the others sleep with there heads facing out.
    I've been giving them all extra BOSS and protien due to the cold and the Australorps molt. I've also been placing a 1/4 - 1/2 cabbage in for them. They seem to like soft white pine needles and I've been clipping off a largish branch and propping it in the run so they can jump and munch on that. They love the stuff. I've checked for mites. Put DE on them as well as dusted the coop & run a couple of times with DE & poultry dust. Sometimes I just wonder how much is enough? They should be able to get out and about more this week. I am just frustrated at this. Muff is the sweetest, mellowest girl & that probably is a disadvantage to her.
  9. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Awwww. I was just admiring Muff the other night. I'm sure she'll grow them back, in the meantime , she will just have to be muffless

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: