Feather Picking - Help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Haazegirl, May 16, 2010.

  1. Haazegirl

    Haazegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2010
    Southern Minnesota
    We have close to 50 chicks that are about 9 weeks old. It was my first time ordering from Ideal poultry and I mixed and matched the chicks to get 6 breeds, and some of them aren't doing so well. The chanteclers are growing slower, and some are just down right tiny. The ameraucanas are big and beautiful, the cukoos, dominiques, new hampshire reds, and australorps are mediocre. I'm pretty sure they are pecking with the ee's possibly doing the most damage. There are some bare necks, bare backs, and bare butts. I'd say about half of them look this way, and the chanteclers are the worst, tiny little guys with ruffled feathers sticking out and some bald spots. I had New Hamshires and Dominiques last year and still have some hens and a roo, they went through a round with mites. But I don't think that is the case this year. We have diatomaceous earth around everywhere in the coop, and a dust bath of it. We just put up poultry netting and let them out for the first time today and we're hoping that will help cure some of the boredom. Any suggestions, I tried to tell my husband to add protein to the feed and vitamins to the water. But he says the organic feed mix is good, and he doesn't have time to add vitamins to the water. I'll have to do it myself because he can't spare 20 seconds in the morning! Any advice or tips that can sway his mentality would be great!
     
  2. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    Are they too crowded or bored? You need to remove the ones that are being picked on until they heal and reintroduce them, before it gets worse.


    Also, I see you are feeding them organic feed. Most likely it doesn't have enough protein in it. Try switching feed to something like Flock Raiser. It has really helped my feather pickers and also will help the ones picked to grow their feathers back. It takes a lot of protein to grow feathers back.





    ETA: fixed spelling
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  3. Haazegirl

    Haazegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2010
    Southern Minnesota
    I looked up flock raiser and that has 18% protein, we buy our grains whole from an organic farmer and grind them as needed. The mix has 20% protein, and I was going to boil them up some eggs, mash them and give them a treat. After posting this message I kept looking for reasons why they were losing feathers. There was no blood, and they didn't seem to be picking each other when we watched them. Actually the only chick I saw picking on some one else was a little tiny Chantecler picking on a big Maran!! [​IMG]

    Then I came across something that said constant light is stressful. We've had red heat lamps on since they were brought home. We almost turned them off after putting them in the barn, but then we had a cold spell and kept them on longer. The day after finding this new information out we turned off the lamp, and they appear to be getting better. My husband agrees that they are not getting worse.

    They may be bored, and we are working on getting them outside. My husband set up some poultry netting and we're setting up a solar charger for it now. But the poor girls don't seem to like the hole and ramp he built. We can't get any one to venture out! He opened the door and let them out for a while last night before dusk, and they all stayed pretty close. He and my boys watched them to make sure our rooster Wyatt and our 3 hens didn't try any funny business!
     
  4. arch_cpj

    arch_cpj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2010
    medina county
    if you get a few that they wont stop pecking I mix me up about 1/4 cup of axel grease (it will be fine) and add a tbs or so of cayenne pepper and 2 tbs of strong vinegar... mix it up and put a dab on where they are pecking problem will go away might need to do it awhile it works every time for me...
     
  5. Haazegirl

    Haazegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2010
    Southern Minnesota
    Thanks for the info. I'll keep watching them, but they do seem better. They are growing in feathers, and looking pretty good, minus some tails and back feathers. But much improved! Has anyone else had a problem with leaving lights on constantly that resulted in feather loss?

    I get people buying almost a pound of cayenne in my store to ward off bunnies and deer from the garden, and I use all sorts of recipes for killing weeds and such. Is the axel grease used as a thickener? I would think of replacing it with castor oil. It has a horrible taste and viscosity that maybe they wouldn't like it. But it is still good for skin. Thanks for the recipe, I've heard of blue cote and other things that sound toxic being used. It's good to hear that a simple home remedy might work!!
     

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