Broken tail feathers.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DeannaA, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. DeannaA

    DeannaA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have several breeds of chickens. They have all been together for a few months. I have a couple of Langshans (larger but younger than some) that have some broken tail feathers. I have read to pull them out. The are too many and I tried to pull out the worst one. I couldn't and I don't want to hurt him further by continuing to try. I have read I can put blue kote on it but I didn't know if it would be ok with the broken tail blood feathers still there. I had made an apron that covered the tail but they managed to get under it and make it worse. The chicken with the worst tail has been seperated. I hate for him to be alone and he gets upset when it's breakfast time and he misses day old bread. I give him some but it's not the same. [​IMG] He is so calm and sweet, probably why he gets picked on. He only seems in pain when I tried to pull out the feather.

    So if I leave the broken feathers, will it be painful for him? Is it ok to put the blue kote on them? And will they grow out?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I don't know why you couldn't try the BluKote on his feathers. It sounds like you may have too many roosters together. I just went through a period where I had to separate out 10 cockerels out of my flock because they were injuring some of my hens and my head rooster. Make sure everyone has enough room, some things to climb on and explore, and try increasing the protein in the feed a bit.
     
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Broken tail feathers are usually a sign of housing issues. But after the feathers are broken they can mark chickens for abuse at the hands of their flock mates. If you don't get the broken feathers out now they will stay until your rooster starts his first adult molt, most likely at around age 18 months.

    I can't imagine that pulling out a few broken tail feathers will hurt your cockerel more than plucking eyebrows or getting hot waxed because the feather follicle is unaffected whereas the hair follicle is ripped out by the root along with the hair. When drawing broken feathers and quills take William Shakespeare's advise, "If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well It were done quickly."
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  4. DeannaA

    DeannaA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tried to pull one out. I couldn't. I just caused him pain and to bleed again. If the feather had been unharmed, eventually, the feather would no longer have blood and be easier to pull out. Will the blood go away on a damaged feather and be easier and less painful to remove?
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Are you absolutely sure that the blood you see is coming out of the hollow of the feather shaft? Broken “BLOOD” feathers can be a serious life risk for a bird. I also understand that your chicken has multiple broken blood feathers and that each of them is pouring blood.

    As long as the blood (pen) feathers keep bleeding there is nothing that you can do to help your chicken. They may bleed for hours, days, weeks, or even months. When we assume responsibility for the welfare of an animal we sometimes must do things that are distasteful or even counter intuitive to the idealist salad days of our childhood. This I am afraid is one of those instances. Good luck.

    http://www.tailfeathersnetwork.com/birdinformation/bloodfeathers.php

    http://birds.about.com/od/birdhealth/qt/brokenbfeathers.htm
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    If they are not bleeding, I would leave them alone.
     
  7. DeannaA

    DeannaA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, there are multiple broken blood feathers. No, they are not pouring blood. Not sure where that came from. They are scabbed but if I try to pull them out, the scab comes off. Bleeds a little. No blood since removing the chicken 4 days ago. As I have stated twice, I tried to pull the feathers. I can't get it out. My chicken seems fine. Eating, snuggling, happy noises. Only in pain if I try to pull the feathers out. I have read so many people say they have to be pulled out or else. I want to know what 'or esle' is.

    Again, my questions are, will the broken feathers grow out, blood dry up as in a healthy feather? And will they cause pain if left. My bird does not seem to be in any pain but everything I read says he should be.

    I have googled and can not find any information on multiple broken blood feathers. But sometimes I don't put in the right search words. There are no bird vets where I live, I already checked.

    I think I will keep him seperate for a few more days. I let him out to watch TV with me so he doesn't get lonely. Then I will Blu-kote his tail.
     
  8. DeannaA

    DeannaA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Today I checked on the broken tail feathers. All healed and the feathers are growing again. They were pretty bad. Everyone says pull. Turns out everyone was wrong. So unless they won't stop bleeding, I don't see a reason to pull. My chicken was happy to be seperated until he was healed. I sprayed on the blukote and sent him on his way.
     
  9. DeannaA

    DeannaA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Except you. Thanks. That's why I left it.
     
  10. lealle4

    lealle4 New Egg

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    I realize this is an older thread, but I'm having a similar problem. I have 7 6ish week old chicks of different breeds and one has been picked on in the past. Many of her tail feathers were broken and bloody about a month ago and are slowly growing back, but several of the ones left are damaged and I'm not sure if their appearance is attracting continuing bullying (just from one specific chick who doesn't really pick on anyone else...I suspect she may be a he). I'm pretty sure it's stemming from them feeling a bit crowded while we finish up their outside home. My question is, can/should I pull out the damaged feathers? Will this make the other more likely to continue pecking? She hasn't drawn blood again (yet). It's hard to tell if the feathers are hollow because I was applying blue kote to the area.
     

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