1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Feather picking.....still

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickonaroost, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. chickonaroost

    chickonaroost Out Of The Brooder

    77
    0
    39
    Jun 13, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    I have spent a lot of time reading about feather picking and how to stop it. I have 10 chickens total, 2 are americanas that are missing feathers over their backs and wing tips.
    They have been missing for over a year. I got rid of an extremely mean BR hen this spring that I thought was the picker. I have tried the dog food-extra protein trick, the blue kote spray over the bare patches, the pine tar.....every trick I have read on this site, and still no feather regrowth.
    I have spent hours in the coop, watching them, I can't identify the picker. They free range all day and aren't bored. Maybe they are preening themselves to vigorously??
    Is is possible they have been featherless so long, their feather 'folicles'? have forgotten how to grow feathers?? I even had to put sunblock on the bare spots because they were getting sunburnt, honestly..........I know, my DH thinks I'm nuts too.
    They are ugly and I am sad. Any further ideas before I start the "How to cope with/accept
    chronic feather loss" 12 step program?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2007
    Connecticut
    I guess that could happen....damaged folices...just weird that it would be in teh same spots on more than one chicken. Have you check them for external parasites?? Although I would think more than 2 chickens would exhibit symptoms.

    I have hens that overpreen. I thought it was someone picking on them until I watched then closely for a week or so...they did it to themselves. Not sure why. They might have been stressed but honestly, they are still missing some feathers after a 1/2 a year or so. I know that if the shaft of the feather stays in, then the body wont know there is no feather there. I read somewhere you are supposed to pull the shaft if it is broken. That is mostly what happen with my two and I just let it be.

    12 step program for not paying attention to your featherless chickens:
    1. Get online
    2. Go to BYC Buy,Trade, Sell
    3. Buy some fertile eggs
    4. PIck them up at PO and check obsessively for cracks, cursing your postman all the while
    5. Put them in the bator.
    6. Set temps and humitidy.
    7. Check on eggs
    8. Check on eggs
    9. Candle eggs obsessively, cursing yourself for not buying a stronger flashlight
    10. Check on eggs
    11. Check on eggs
    12. Watch the hatch and worry about what you are going to do with them now and how many will be roosters and how to integrate them into your current flock.

    This program will work quite efficently to keep your mind off your feather plucking ordeal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2007
  3. devora

    devora Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]
     
  4. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2007
    Connecticut
    Although...then youll need a 12 step program to cure her from this 12 step program!
     
  5. chickonaroost

    chickonaroost Out Of The Brooder

    77
    0
    39
    Jun 13, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Over preening---never thought of that, but now that you mention it, when I applied the pine tar to thier backs, they themselves were the ones cleaning/eating/hating it. Do you suppose since it's just the Auracanas doing it, it could be some weird over-preening gene?? There is no feather shaft left to pluck. In fact, they have been featherless in the same spots for so long, it is smooth like people skin. Strange...(head scratch).

    No, definately not any kind of mite or parasite, but thanks for the thought.
     
  6. Gracefulspice

    Gracefulspice Chillin' With My Peeps

    354
    0
    149
    Mar 25, 2007
    Pa
    I did read a thread not too long ago that if an area is damaged bad enough the feathers won't grow back till after a molt. I have a hen that has been missing feathers since April. We rescued her from a mean rooster that beat her up something terrible. He would not even let her stay in the coop at night. I'm glad we have her now. She's a very friendly hen. But does look kinda ratty without her neck feathers and some missing on her back too. I too have put lotion on her to help protect form the sun. I just hope after the molt she does grow them back. Good Luck with yours.
     
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Are the feathers missing on the back in an area that a chicken saddle would cover? If so, it would protect that area from the sun, so you wouldn't have to keep putting sun screen on and also be a barrier to picking or over preening. It's just a thought.

    I'm sure this idea would also impress your husband. [​IMG]
     
  8. chickonaroost

    chickonaroost Out Of The Brooder

    77
    0
    39
    Jun 13, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Well....here's the bare back answer for those of you who can't figure out why back feathers are missing!
    Out of 5 spring chicks, 2 were roosters so now we had 7 hens and 3 roosters so 2 boys had to go to a bigger farm. My kids decided to keep the polish spring roo and our big speckled sussex and PRB roo found a new barn to call home.
    Now, both Auracanas are growing their back feathers again for the first time in 16 months!
    The answer: chicken sex! I guess he was so big and heavy thaat his big fat feet wore their feathers off.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by