chickens missing back feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickiedooda, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. chickiedooda

    chickiedooda New Egg

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    Jun 26, 2008
    New Milford, CT
    I have 11 hens in my flock, no rooster. About half of them looked like they were molting for a while, but its been about 3 months, and some of their backs still look like a corn cob that has been picked clean. I don't think they have mites or lice, and havent noticed them picking excessively. They do seem to be laying less. 3-5 eggs per day for 11 chickens. I feed them layer ration and throw out black oil sunflower seeds for them to pick at during the day. Their coop is about 8x8x4 feet and they run outside every day in a 12x12 foot run. Which admittedly has been pecked down to dirt. Any suggestions on what this can be? They don't seem unhappy, but look pretty pathetic.
     
  2. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    If it is feather picking, that is usually not enough protein in their diet. If it molting, it is going to be over when it is over. LOL You can try giving them some meat scraps as treats like left over hamburger, chicken etc. are you giving them greens? If not, get them some fresh veggies to add a little to the daily diet.

    The weather is so weird right now, it can throw the laying off, so I would not worry about taht right now but, the feather's being gone is another story. Is it possible you have a hen trying to mount the others?
     
  3. TheOLDNewChick

    TheOLDNewChick I'm an original

    Jun 12, 2007
    Tioga, Louisiana
    I'd try to throw in some extra greens. And the leftover meat isn't a bad idea, either. Just don't give them anything extremely greasy, or heavily seasoned. And don't give them a lot.

    It could be molting, or it could be feather picking. When you have extra time, you could observe them and try to figure out what's going on.
     
  4. chickiedooda

    chickiedooda New Egg

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    Jun 26, 2008
    New Milford, CT
    Thanks for your advice. I did see one eat a fluffy feather off the ground today, so that sort of lets me know they're in the habit. It's possible it all started when the Polish burned her butt on the heat lamp and all her tail feathers fell out. Ack! Most of the six that are missing feathers seem to be starting to grow back their pinfeathers.
    I read that feeding them cat food helps with protein deficiency. Any thoughts?
     

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