Feather Plucking Help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Layla1223, May 14, 2011.

  1. Layla1223

    Layla1223 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2010
    Idaho
    I currently have 3-4 hens that have had their butt's plucked almost bald. One of thoes hens also has had a lot of feathers plucked from the base of her tail, the spot is almost bald. What could be causing this. I have seen one hen pluck a feather from another and then eat it. But I know she must not be the only plucker because she is one that has a bald butt. I have read that it could be caused by lack of protien, we currently feed them layer feed with kitchen scraps as treats. They can only free range when they can be supervised though because we live close to neighbors. Could they be bored from being kept in their run all day? I had my dad check for lice/mites and he said he didn't find any? Should I remove the hen that is being plucked? What should I do? Thanks
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I would stop all low protein treats temporarily to maximize protein. I would coat all their bottoms with rooster booster pick no more lotion or whatever no pick lotion your feed store sells.

    It tastes bad to them. The lotion stains and looks like molasses.

    Then I would throw them some high protein treats like scrambled eggs, peanuts unsalted (25% protein), or black oil sunflower seeds (16% protein but they will like the amusement).

    Other treats:
    pumpkin seeds 31%
    flax seeds 20%

    Just stopping the low protein treats and coating them with yucky goo might be enough. You can always switch them over to a higher protein feed such as the flock raiser feeds and feed oyster shell on the side.
    http://poultry.purinamills.com/OURPRODUCTS/Products/FlockRaiser/default.aspx

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=111411
    here is a helpful thread too
     
  3. Josh_Manors

    Josh_Manors Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 22, 2011
    SE Florida
    If you find an answer to your feather plunking please post it. In the last 3 days I've had 2 hens with the exact same problem, and it just started happening over night. I spoke with a bird vet on the the phone about my hens and he was sure that it was caused by a bacterial infection that would have been picked up in the yard from other birds while they were free ranging but, he told me that a lab test would be needed to confirm this at a cost of $110.00 per hen.
     
  4. Layla1223

    Layla1223 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2010
    Idaho
    Quote:Thank you for the links. I will deffinatly check them out. I think I might have discovered the plucker. My grandpa says if they eat the feathers when they are lacking something, I looked online but I couldn't find anything. I am going to the feed store tomorrow and am going to get some oyster shells. The lotion is a good idea, I will also definatly be looking for some of that. I have noticed a slight improvement on the bald spots, they seem to be growing new feathers, but just around the edges.
     
  5. NortonGameBirds

    NortonGameBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2011
    Palmyra, VA
    Put Pine Tar on the spots being picked. Peepers (blinders) work well too.
     

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