Feather picking herself? What is that about?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chookychook, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Chookychook

    Chookychook Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Nov 19, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    I have a Isa Brown hen that is currently separated from her four friends as she has been unwell and consequently badly pecked. Over the past few days I have noticed a lot of small fluffy feathers in her coop/run (20-30) and really don't know why she would be doing that to herself. There is no access to her coop from the others.

    We are in Melbourne, Australia and it has been VERY hot (46.2C today, or about 115 F) but am thinking it is not heat related.

    Does anyone have any ideas? She is well fed, watered and loved by our four kids but not allowed to free range.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated - cheers
     
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not sure if this applies to your girl, but I had a young broody a few weeks back who cleaned off a circle of feathers below her vent and between her legs. She used the bare skin to warm eggs laid in one of the next boxes. I began collecting the morning eggs earlier and it took 2 weeks to break her. I guess she wanted them for herself! Her feathers are starting to come back and she seems fine. [​IMG]

    Maybe your girl wants refrigerated eggs!
     
  3. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Could it be stress? I've never seen that before, but I vaguely remember hearing something similar to that...hmm...

    As for now, you might wish to see you local farm supply store and ask for anti-peck. I have never purchased it myself but it can come in a gel or spray that you apply to the chicken and when they go to peck, they stop because the stuff tastes horrible to them. [​IMG] I have heard from alot of people who say that stuff works miracles!

    If she isn't doing that to herself, however, she could be losing feathers due to the stresses in her life. I've dealt with THAT before! I had a broody hen who was taken away from the only group she ever knew to hatch her brood. When they were hatched, I took them to raise in a brooder indoors and I put the mom in a dog crate in the coop, to be re-introduced to her family. She was so stressed out from all of the changes, I could grab hold of her feathers and they'd al fall out! Just like that!

    I few days later when she was ready to join the others (and balding) the stress stopped and she grew them all back. No problem. Maybe your girl is just a little frightened from all of these things you've mentioned, none the less being away from her family. Give her some time, if you think this is the case, and see what happens.
     
  4. Chookychook

    Chookychook Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Nov 19, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    Refrigerated eggs - should have thought of that - [​IMG]

    Forgot to mention that she is still laying happily but will give her a go free ranging today as the weather has improved to bearable.

    Any ideas on reintroduction to the flock? - she has been sepperated for an extended period of time as she was badly pecked when we last tried.

    Thanks for your replies

    Cheers
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by