back plucked bare in a couple hours.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dennarahl, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. dennarahl

    dennarahl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2012
    Colorado
    This is bound to be long, sorry. :)

    We have 19 chicks, all 6.5 weeks old. They have been living inside the house until today when they moved out to the garage. For the last two weeks they haven't had a heat lamp because we keep the house at about 70. However, we found that they were afraid of the dark, so we left a red light (party light, very low wattage, basically no heat output for the chickens) in their room. They have about 30 sq ft in their brooder.

    For the last week or so, I have been keeping an eye on two male chicks (packing peanuts, very obviously male now). They haven't fully grown in all of their back feathers. The pin feathers were there, and have been for at least two weeks, but there was no fuzz. But they're not preening them to break off the outer casing. I let them be because they seemed happy enough and the other chicks weren't bugging them or anything. But, it was starting to be a little weird because all of their male siblings had grown in real feathers all over their backs. One of them, it's only an inch square, the other is about a 2.5 inch square.

    Anyway, today they moved to the garage about lunch time. I set up the heat lamp because it's cooler than in the house. After they all got moved we found that it was quite warm in the garage, so I turned off the heat lamp. Before dinner we went out to check the temp and turned on the heat lamp so it didn't get too cold as the sun went down. After dinner and bedtime routines for the children, I went out to take care of water changes and socialize with the chicks. That's when I found that both of the chicks with the weird pin feathers had been picked bare in the pin feather areas, and one of them had a very small patch of skin that had been picked too. I have no idea if they did it to themselves or if the others did it to them.

    Neither of them had anything that was actively bleeding, but there are several pin feathers still partially there. I cleaned them up, put some neosporin (no pain reliever) on the bare patch and sprayed them with blue-kote so they wouldn't pick at eachother. They're both back inside to recover and I'm watching for picking with the others.


    So, the questions:
    1) Did this happen because they went without the red light for a few hours?
    2) Do I need to remove the partial pin feathers?
    3) How long will it take for new feathers to come in?
    4) Can I put hen aprons on roosters? (I can't see why not, but I'm a new chicken mom)
    5) Any other thoughts?

    Thanks for your help!
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  2. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    Petersburg,NY
    is the heat lamp bulb in the garage red?
    If they have been in the house for 6.5 weeks and were moved...they were probably stressed and scared and if the light was white or sunlight...it could lead them to pick at the pin feathers. i think you have done what you can for now...it takes a while to grow those feathers in on some of them.

    I wouldn't want to keep the two roos separate for too long. Can you put a divider up where they can see each other but not get at them? If they are separate for too long you could have trouble reintroducing them to the others.
     
  3. dennarahl

    dennarahl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2012
    Colorado
    The heat lamp is red, and the light they had when it was off was just sunlight. So, if it was the red light masking the pin feathers, the others who all have feathers instead of pins should be ok in sunlight, right?

    I agree that I don't want to keep them seperated too long. I'm sure we can do something to get them in the same area where they can see each other but are safe.
     
  4. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    Petersburg,NY
    That's probably your best quick fix....just keep researching on here and you'll find tons of ideas! BYC is great!
     
  5. dennarahl

    dennarahl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2012
    Colorado
    2 days later, none of the other chicks are having feather issues. I really do think it was the lack of red light protecting the pin feathers that did it. Both boys seems to be recovering well. Today I will be making them saddles and I'll turn one loose in with the rest and see how it goes since his spot is so small. I'll give the other one at least another day to let the little skin spot heal better.
     

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