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Bareback hens feathers have not come back

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rosem123, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. rosem123

    rosem123 New Egg

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    Apr 3, 2013
    Hello,
    I have 2 EAs and 1 Cochin that were in breeding pens from Jan - April. During that time, the hens got neck and barebacks from mating. Once I got enough eggs hatched, I pulled the hens out of the breeder pens to heal up and rest. Well it's been since early April and they still have not re-feathered. I feed them yogurt, sprouted seeds, Fermented Feed 2 - 3 times a week and still the feathers have not come back. It's worrisome, and I don't have a clue what to do. I want to rotate them back into the breeding pens, but have not done this because of the feather loss, not getting better. I should say, they have not lost more feathers just the original ones when in the breeding pens. I do see some sign of new feathers on the EAs, but it's been there for 2 weeks and still have not gone from pin feather to complete feathers. Any ideas of how to help them grow back their feathers at a faster rate?
    Thanks
     
  2. Quail Keeper

    Quail Keeper Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2013
    From my own experience, I know that feathers do not grow back quickly. My hens feathers only grow back when it is time to molt and usually get barebacked couple months later. I just let them be. It really doesn't hurt them although they don't look very good and should have someplace to get out of the sun.
     
  3. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a few hens that are barebacked now. I even put saddles that I bought (and then made some more) on them. Interesting, and I do not understand why, but some of my hens only needed the saddles for a month or so. When I removed them, a nice coat of fluffy feathers was underneath and they are now gorgeous.

    But, I have a white rock that has had a saddle on for months (like since January of this year) and still no feathers under there. It is a nice fitting saddle, she doesn't mind it, and she is the friendliest and nosiest of our birds (my husband was using the front loader on our tractor and she wouldn't get off the top of the loader -- just rode it like surf board LOL). I also have some production reds that are bare backed and not growing too. Frustrating and it looks bad!
    Good luck, hope they grow soon!
     
  4. rosem123

    rosem123 New Egg

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    Apr 3, 2013
    Thanks for your responses. It's nice to know I am not alone and this happens to others. The EAs now have some fluffy feathering on their backs so i will give them til the end of the month and then put them back in the breeding pen. Once I get enough fertile eggs to hatch, I will again take them out for a rest. Thanks again
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    If the feathers totally came out, shaft and all, they should grow back before too awfully long. If they just broke off and the entire shaft did not come out, they won’t grow back until the next molt.

    Some hens’ feathers are just more brittle than others. Those are the ones that are more likely to be barebacked. The feathers just break off easier. That’s hereditary, at least to a large degree. I keep that in mind when I select which hens I want to breed and hatch eggs from. That's not necessarily the rooster's fault.
     
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