BR hen - all her feathers are falling out in clumps! now what?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by ohiofarmgirl, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    help!

    no, she isnt molting - this is most of her feathers falling out in clumps. this morning i went out and she is half bald - since its about 28* i ran her into the house b/c she was shivering but now what??

    backstory:
    she had a failed clutch and we took her off the nest about a week ago. a predator got most of her eggs 2 weeks into her set, and then we found most of the eggs crushed or broken open or obviously dead. b/c she was so weak we have been keeping her next to but not with the flock. we've been feeding her as much as she wants in corn and turkey starter as we figured she need the protein. until this morning she has seemed happy enough and has been out pip poppin around in the yard.

    a couple days ago some of the others grabbed her thru the fence and beat her up pretty good so she has been inside a coop but still next too the rest.

    now this. she' standing in my bathroom with feathers falling off her.

    any ideas??
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  3. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    thanks Imp!

    she might just be molting but the feather are just falling off her like leaves.. ugh! and i need to find a way to keep her warm. we laughed about a little sweater for her..

    thanks again for the link

    :)
     
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:Does sound like molt. Lots of people recommend extra protein to assist in the re-feathering.

    Imp- There have been pix posted of people making sweaters for their chickens.
     
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
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    Don't know about molting (`big handful' clumps?). She's probably undernourished and vitamin deficient (broody turkeys are severe on themselves). So, yes, up the protein intake (srambled eggs, finely minced leftover pork or beef roast, meal worms, etc.). Pickup a bottle of Polyvisol enfamil (no iron) vitamins at wally world or some such and give her three-four drops a day (if she'll eat grapes tear some up and drip the vitamins on them - also a good way to get crushed pills/`capsuled' powdered meds into these guys/gals without a fight).

    Keep her in a warm area if possible (stress of cold and whatever else is going on and you might be looking at something worse taking hold) and post up a shot if you can (really helps).

    Good luck!
     
  6. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
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    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Also, give her access to a dust bath with wood ashes in case she has skin/mite issues -- my hens were always desparate for dust baths after nesting.

    I have had BR hens who became quite thin after setting for 28 days. Then, they're so busy protecting their poults, they still aren't eating and resting as much as they should be to catch up again.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  7. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    thanks everyone! especially Ivan for the vitamin def suggestion.

    we've had bad molters before but this little gal takes the cake and i was wondering if it was nutrition related. and yes big handfuls. clumps down to her bare skin. she flapped on the way inside and it looked like a pillow fight happened in the kitchen - much to the amusement of the inside cats.

    we have really tried to give her the highest protein feed we have but thanks for the suggestions for meat... hadnt thought she would eat it. but we'll give it a go.

    and CAnnie - thanks for the dust bath suggestion. i'll fix her up a spot.

    i looked CAREFULLY and really cant tell if she has feathers about to come in or not. the tough things is its her 'down' (i know wrong word) that is coming out (along with the other feathers) and i really want to make sure she stays warm. we'll have a bit of a break in the weather for a few days.

    for now she is out of my bathroom and i put her in the warmest broody coop in the hen house - this stays much warmer than the turkey hut. she really took a beating the other day and now this! poor little gal. she's a trooper tho so we hope she hangs in there.

    :)
     
  8. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    cat food is also a good source of protien and the birds like it.

    Steve in NC
     
  9. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
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    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    How's she doing?
    Can you post pics?
     
  10. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    hey Steve!

    the first thing i did was give her cat food! thanks for the reminder, tho, that i didnt just make it up. i remember an old timer telling me that... good to hear it from someone who knows.

    CA - we were gone most of the day but as far as i can tell she is doing better. she was NOT shivering this morning.. the hen house was the right call so whew! she just stayed inside and sat and ate. she didnt seem to have the same 'falling out like leaves' thing today. i gave her more high protein food. i'll let her pop around outside tomorrow.

    we have the last day of gun hunting season and our 'only come here to hunt' superfunwildlydrunkhowlingatthemoon neighbors have been causing a brouhaha all day. so everyone was locked inside until we got home about 3. it starts to get dark at 4 so it was a very boring day for everyone. but this little hen who kinda likes it in the hen house.

    thanks for checking on us!
    :)

    here's a funny tho. when i found her all nekkid and shivering that morning i totally panicked so i scooped her up and ran her into the house. you can imagine my hubby's surprised when i burst into his bathroom, opened his shower, and shook that poor little hen and him and said (well kinda screamed) OHMIGOSH LOOK AT POOR RUNNER WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO!??!?!?!? (me in barn boots, barn wear, and shaking a quickly de-feathering turkey hen at him).

    he advised me to close his shower and he would join us in a minute.

    never a dull moment
    ;-)
     

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