1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Breast Feather Plucking Question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ClareScifi, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,766
    23
    164
    Mar 30, 2011
    How long could a broody chicken continue to peck out her breast feathers if she is no longer sitting on a nest and is laying an egg every day and not acting broody, although her legs still have some orange to them and she has been away from her nest at least a month? Could she stay broody, technically, forever, and continue to pick out her breast feathers indefinitely?

    I'm trying to tease apart the broodiness chest-feather-pecking from other possible causes of it.

    Thanks in advance,

    Clare
     
  2. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    If she is no longer sitting in the nest, and still plucking her feathers I would suspect mites or lice.
     
  3. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,766
    23
    164
    Mar 30, 2011
    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm going to buy some food grade shell flour (diatomaceous earth) to put in the chickens' dust bath area. How much of it should I apply to the dirt, and do I need to cover it with pine shavings or just mix it in with my hand?

    How often do I need to reapply it, if it doesn't rain?

    I have just 2 hens and they share one small dust bath area.

    Thanks for your help,

    Clare
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    440
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You need to use DE sparingly as it is so irritating when inhaled, just a dusting. Some poultry dust or spray would give a better kill by far. Usually it is permethrins, sometimes with pyrethrins.
     
  5. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,766
    23
    164
    Mar 30, 2011
    How do you apply the pyrethrins?
     
  6. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    I get a dusting powder from the feed store and mix some of it in a large 30 gallon tub filled a few inches high with equal parts peat moss and play sand. Place the tub in the run and let the chickens dust themselves as much as they want for at least 24 hours. Repeat weekly for three weeks.

    Or use Eprinex pour on.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by