Can poor stock lead to chronic feather loss?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by shaninsky, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. shaninsky

    shaninsky Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 17, 2014
    I have a mixed flock of Barred Rock, black sex-link, Rhode Island Red and Cochins. My Cochins are the oldest in the flock and they are always in good feather. The others have good feathers for about a year and then start to look ragged. I feed a premium laying feed with flax seed and they are free range. I don't think it's parasites because my Cochins are never affected. My Cochins come from a small breeder and all the others come from a commercial breeder through my local feed store. Is it possible that they are just poor stock and more prone to feather loss?
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    No sure, many people are having flocks that are doing a heavy molt right now. Of course, some don't molt at the same time or just lose a few feathers.
     
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  3. shaninsky

    shaninsky Out Of The Brooder

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    That's the thing - these commercial hatchery chickens never re feather. they get some but they're dull and sparse. One of the meat birds I got from this place last year never grew real feathers except for on her wings. Yet my Cochins molt and regrow their feathers every year. It's frustrating. I worry about sunburn and cold weather and naturally people are critical of me for letting them get that way but they really do get the best care and I just don't know what to do besides knit them all sweaters [​IMG]. I'm going to get some chicks from a new breeder in the spring and see what happens. I've also crossed a barred rock roo with a cochin hen so I'll see if that helps but it will be a while before I'll be able to tell.
     
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Some are slower than others. If you feed them regular layer, you can boost their protein with some flock raiser, and get the protein level up to about 20-25% for now. Also vitamins help. I like the packets of Broiler Booster because it's got probiotics. It's usually cheap because you'll use about a pinch per gallon. Sometimes they need extra nutrients. I recently looked at a bag of layer and the protein was 16%, I felt that was kind of low so I by Manna Pro now because it's 18% Right now mine look like they fell into a feather plucker that broke, LOL
     
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  5. shaninsky

    shaninsky Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 17, 2014
    Thanks Seminolewind, that is more help than I've ever received from the feed store. I will get some higher protein feed and add some probiotics. I take them so why shouldn't the chickens? I'll make sure to post back about what I notice.
     

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