Feather loss/red around the vent, pics posted

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Pit Bull Farm, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If there is a rodent colony under the house don't freak out when the chickens eat them! Mine all gather around when I start moving tin and things. They think it's treat time!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Scratch should only be given as a treat, maybe one handful for 6 or 8 chickens, once a day. It does not have nearly enough protein for growth or laying. This may be your whole problem. You need to give them regular chicken food, probably either grower or layer, depending on age. And you need to supplement protein at this point for a while as well, if scratch has been their main feed. Yogurt, canned mackerel, cottage cheese, meat scraps, cooked hamburger, cooked cheap liver... whatever. Plus, it takes protein to grow new feathers. Veggies are great when they are on a balanced feed, but do not usually provide protein, and it certainly sounds to me like they need a good protein boost at this point.

    Glad to hear you will do the Sevin.

    That is hilarious to me, that the buff orps boss the guineas around! Glad to hear it. We never know -- breeds do have tendencies, but chickens are such individuals....

    Does not sound to me like you have much of a rat/mouse problem, but it is always good to monitor this....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2009
  3. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agreed on scratch - add to the list of things it isn't provide enough for: feather growth. Agreed on all of ddawn's points.

    I'd add to make sure that they have a good source of grit available. A dirt pen might not be providing the right sized grit for their gizzards, especially if they get diet. I'm so totally with Ddawn on diet - she's hit the nail on the head with that. Incidentally, had you continued to feed just scratch you'd have had more problems down the road with egg binding and soft shells.

    Grains are high in phosphorus. Too much phosphorus in the diet interferes with calcium absorbtion which is not only necessary for growth (and, incidentally, feather building) but especially for egg shells. So a good laying feed or grower depending on their age will do a ton of good. Save the scratch to bribe them to be total pets. [​IMG]

    For grit, you can get all sorts of grit. I liked mineralized pigeon grit, but it comes in a large bag. Many feedstores carry small packages of grit great for a 10-12 hen flock. You can even order it online. We're so spoiled these days!

    Beautiful hens! You'll have to be sure to send some pics of them when they don't have red tushes. [​IMG]
     
  4. Pit Bull Farm

    Pit Bull Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you soooooo much I was very uncomfortable with just scratch but several people told me not to waste money on other feed since that is all they need. I thought they would do better on a balanced diet. They are more that just egg layers for me they are my pets! I take care of them just like I do our dogs. I had an injured one not too long ago and it was hard because no vet would see her, they said just go spend 10 on a new one and save the $45 on a vet bill. That really got to me. Just let her suffer because she was cheap to buy? Not that I would go all out for a chicken but I want to take care of them.

    This is OT but I didn't think I could Love chickens as much as I do. They have great personalities and are now my buds!

    My egg production just got low too so I think the feed has alot to do with it. First thing tomorrow the girls get a new diet!

    Quick question
    I have some grit do i just mix it with the feed? My other issue with food is they like to dump it and then not eat it off the ground. I saw some feeders that had upside down buckets that make a continuious feed. It that better than feeding in a pan? Thank guys for all your help and support!
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
    Sharon2 likes this.
  5. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh I'm a die-hard chicken hugger, are you kidding me? You'd think after having them all my life I'd be a little more hardened, but it hasn't happened. Realistic about losses and when to put them down? Yes. But I still love to hug them, watch them just chicken around the place, etc.

    I'm extremely lucky in that my boyfriend is worse than I am about talking to his "baby mamas" he calls them, and picking up his ladies, walking around with them. We're pretty pathetic around here so you're in good company.

    Because I really care about them, I've spent a LOT of time researching nutrition, care, etc. I wanted to give the best, and hopefully others like us here onthe board will steer you in a better direction than the 'just chickens' one. [​IMG]

    Cheers to your caring for them!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Ditto the others comments on the scratch... feathers contain METHIONINE which i a very important aminoacid (i.e. PROTEIN) and this would be the most likely explanation for the feather dissapearance. If it were me I would get a good supplement if you possibly can and if not then add some sunflowerseed hearts and some chopped up cooked egg thru their feed for a few weeks to give them that extra boost.
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Quote:I prefer to offer grit separately; I figure they will get the right amount of each that way. Same for oyster shell. But lots of people do mix them. I've had my best luck in preventing wasted feed by using a hanging feeder which is at the height of the top part of their back, and using pelleted feed. They may bill a little of it out, but they can't scratch it out. This also prevents them from pooping on the feeder and into the feed. I think they pay for themselves pretty quickly. You can make a feeder, too; plenty of ideas out there; you could search here or just google it on the web.

    Enjoy your chickens!
     
  8. California Ducken

    California Ducken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes a hanging feeder is good. And much better than a pan. You can mix the layer pellets or layer crumble with the grit/oyster shell.(I do)
    The waterer can be a hanging one as well. And a fum thing to do is buy an exrea couple cobbs of corn next time you buy them for your family.....dont cook them but hull it and drop the cobb in with the chickens! It's fun to watch them go for it!
    Good Luck!
     
  9. California Ducken

    California Ducken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh yeah.....DITTO on everyone elses feed comments too!!!
     
  10. daisy_dukers

    daisy_dukers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My sister tried raising chickens on just scratch and they went crazy pecking at each others butts...She no longer has chickens and insists that every chicken will do the same thing(refuses to try again..and I am glad cause she didnt treat them right anyways)... I tried explaining the diet(lack of protein) thing to her but she didnt believe me..

    She also had them in a super cramped coop, and mixed her layers with her meat chickens....Essentially she did everything wrong...
     

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