Damaged Feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chicks Galore3, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    For a LONG time now, my chickens have been sporting damaged feathers, wings and base-of-the-tail feathers especially. I've wormed them, treated them for mites/lice, and cleaned out the coop, scrubbed it down, and added new shavings and DE. Some of my chickens look really good, shiny, soft feathers and great weight. Others...not so much. This morning I freaked out for a second because one of my gold stars is missing a clump of feathers and it is all black...upon further inspection, the blackness is from her getting pooped on. However, there IS a clump of feathers missing. They look chewed off, and it is right at the base of the tail. She is acting fine. WHAT ON EARTH could be ruining my chickens feathers?!?!?!?!?
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    You probably have feather picker(s.) Try feeding your birds gamebird feed for about a month. Then wean them off it back to regular layer feed.
    If feather picking continues, cull the feather pickers.
     
  3. Stewarts

    Stewarts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It there a Roo? One of my little Co-Op Reds has had most of the feathers on her back and wings torn out and its because my Roo is jumping on her to mate her. His claws tear at her feathers so I made a saddle for her out of an old blanket that doesn't fray and put it on her.

    [​IMG]
    Co-Op Red hen with her feather all torn up.
    [​IMG]
    Here she is wearing a saddle to protect her feathers while they grow in again.
    [​IMG]
    You can see the saddle on her here.
    [​IMG]
    Simple Chicken saddle. I made mine from an old blanket that did not fray when I cut it.
    [​IMG]
    Closeup of my meat hen wearing a saddle

    Are your birds starting to molt? I'd look into putting them on a vitamin supplement and finding out when they will start their molt cycle. I believe they may need special feed during that time.
     
  4. hensintheHOUse

    hensintheHOUse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are so cute... they looks like wearing a nice vest. :)

    Our chickens are molting now too.. It started about a week ago? may be...
    I read that other member's are molting too.


    And I am sorry for your hens are like that now.. Hopefully their feather come back very soon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  5. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    I think she already molted. (Not completely sure, though.) I'll take a picture of what the feathers look like because they are really odd.
     
  6. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    Lots of pictures here, sorry -

    [​IMG] Crumpet - she is one of the worst. You can see there is a "V" taken out of the feathers. The tail feathers look pretty ratty too.

    [​IMG] Crumept's wing.

    [​IMG] Some of the feathers are broken.

    [​IMG] This is at the base.


    [​IMG] This is the chicken I talked about - I double checked and the dark stuff is just poop.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Some of the chickens look great, though! Confusing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  7. Stewarts

    Stewarts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That almost looks like Roo damage. I have a hen whose in worse shape than that, that's the reason she's wearing a saddle. Her wings still look terrible and today, while sitting in with them in the coop for two hours {I do this at least twice a week to keep my relationship with my birds strong and to observe their behaviors so I can see potential problems}, my Roo jumped on the little hen. His claws are doing the damage to her wing feathers but since she uses her wings, I can't cover them. I checked under her saddle today and her feathers are starting to grow back. One day this week I will take her out of the coop and put her in a tote of straw, remove the saddle so she can preen and bathe, I'll have to do this in the house. Then put the saddle on her again and return her. If I keep her out of the coop too long the flock will reject her.

    The pictures are great. Crumpet is in better shape then my hen.
     
  8. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    I guess I'll make saddles for the hens with feather damage and if it clears up, I know who to blame. :) How long until the feathers start coming back?
     
  9. Stewarts

    Stewarts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Depending on the extent of the damage, it could take a month or more. I have to check my hen tomorrow by taking her saddle off completely and checking her over. I may look into giving her some vitamins for her feathers too. Crumpet doesn't look like she has too much damage so it may not take as long. Just so she is protected in case it is the Roo. Spending time in the coop with your flock you will get to know what's really going on. Good Luck
     
  10. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    I admit I don't watch as much/well when it is winter. I will take some more time to figure out what is going on. I do know I have a bully wyandotte. And, something curious I noticed, ALL of my gold stars look bad. A couple other breeds look a little beat up, but nothing really. ONLY my gold stars. and ALL of my gold stars. Hmm....Wonder if there is a connection?
     

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