Feather loss??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Necklace, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Necklace

    Necklace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello.. I am having a problem with feather loss on 5 of my adult hens I have 9 total that are laying the rest are not old enough yet.. all the feather loss is on there backs and it looks painful to me. 3 of them are isolated in a second coop because my rooster was stressing them out.. there feathers grew back and they looked wonderful for about a month in Jan.. but then they all started falling out again.. those two are turken (naked-necks) .. they are very secluded they only have one other hen with them..

    The other 2 hens are in the main pack and they run around with my rooster and the others.. I can see why they might be loosing feathers because of the mating but the 3 I have seperate I don't know what could be the problem with them..

    is there any kind of ointment or cream I can get at the depot that might help them out a bit..?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    How old are the birds in question and what makes up all their feed intake?
    Have you checked closer for lice or mites?
    I don't think an ointment is the answer.
     
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  3. Necklace

    Necklace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    all my hens are about 3 years old.. I feed them scrach and 3 grain. and I have not seen anything crawling on them.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Does this mean a complete chicken feed doesn't make up the bulk of the diet?
    If that's the case, I think the food is the problem. What exactly is 3 grain?
     
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  5. Necklace

    Necklace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    3 grain is a mix of cracked corn, milo and scratch..
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    OK, thanks for that info. So, we've discovered your problem.
    They're starved for protein. Feathers are 93% protein. A laying hen needs at least 16% crude protein to maintain body/feathers and be able to lay eggs. Corn and milo mixed with other seeds are about 8% protein - not to mention that some vitamins and minerals will be deficient.
    But more importantly, vegetative sources of protein are deficient in several essential amino acids. Even if a legume is also fed (which will augment some of those missing), lysine and methionine will still be deficient.
    Is there a reason you don't feed a complete chicken feed?
    For a quick but temporary fix, give them some animal protein, meat, fish, crickets, mealworms, etc..

    ETA
    I noticed on another thread that you were incubating eggs. Have you had any successfully hatch?
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
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  7. Necklace

    Necklace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was told when I got them to feed them scratch.. and that the 3 grain would be ok.. I do give them Mealworms as treats they are in the bag though.. I give them lettuce sometimes because they do not want to leave the pen.. I call them my hermits. would giving them some eggs help out? and what other feed should I be getting other then the scrach?
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    You were told wrong. Did you get that info from a feed store employee or someone else that didn't know anything about animal nutrition?
    A few mealworms won't be sufficient if they are only eating grain. Lettuce will further lower protein intake - since it doesn't contain any.
    They are hermits because they aren't vigorous because they haven't been getting proper nutrition.

    Scratch is a treat that shouldn't make up more than 5-10% of their total feed intake.
    The simplest and cheapest thing is to feed Chicken feed - formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of chickens. There has been more research in poultry nutrition than even human nutrition. We know the nutrients they need and grains fall short. Do they lay eggs?
    Chickens are omnivores, just like humans. Could you survive long eating a blend of grains and nothing else?

    I met a neighbor who keeps chickens at the feed store a few years ago. He wanted to buy some chickens from me. He said his were broken cause they didn't lay eggs any more. I asked what he was feeding them. He said, "corn". I said, "OK but what else?" "He said, just corn - that's what they told me they ate."
    I said, "you're starving them". I advised him to buy a complete chicken feed. About 6 months later, they started laying again.

    Since your birds have been starved of protein for so long, I wouldn't get a layer feed initially. I'd get the highest protein starter feed available. Somewhere between 18 and 22%.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
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  9. Necklace

    Necklace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok.. I will have to go get some from the feed store.. . and yes the ones who told me what to feed them was someone from the feed depot.. :/

    Thank you for your help I hope it works.. I hate seeing them featherless..

    *hugs* :)
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Good luck.
    Never get advice from feed store employees. 95% know where they keep the chicken feed and how much it costs, but little else about chickens.

    I hope I just saved the life of some chickens. That would be worth my time.
    Hugs back at ya'.

    Just for a quick boost, give them some meat or fish.
    I use canned mackerel since it is cheap and a complete protein.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
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