feather plucking

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by digginchicks, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. digginchicks

    digginchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2009
    Sullivan, Indiana
    I have one hen that had her feathers plucked right under her butt today and I dont know why. There is a pretty big spot where they had done it before i caught them.

    I was just wonderiing why they would do this.
     
  2. FrizzleFreak

    FrizzleFreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are you sure that it was the other chickens? mites can cause that too. If she doesn't have mites, put nasty tasting stuff on her butt (but not too close to the vent!). Also, anywhere else that they've been pecking.Blukote should work.
    Who knows why? Because the voices in their little fluffy heads told them too.
     
  3. FrizzleFreak

    FrizzleFreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    oh, and if she's broody then her breastbone will be naked.
    just thought I'd throw that out there, you never know.
     
  4. Renee

    Renee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    CALIFORNIA
    Watch your chickens carefully for the next few days, since feathers pulled from the vent area are the first sign of cannibalism. If you see any blood, isolate the injured chicken before she is eaten.

    Chickens pluck feathers and cannibalize one another for various reasons.

    1. Not enough protein in the diet. If chickens are fed corn or scratch and not a balanced feed they can start cannibalizing other chickens.

    2. Boredom. Especially in the winter, when they are "cooped up" and get stir-crazy.

    3. Diseases, parasites, etc.

    4. Who knows? They like to pick on one another.

    Good Luck!
     
  5. hobbychick

    hobbychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2007
    Illinois
    We had some chickens that were plucking each other and we used a product called Nustock to keep them from doing it. It is a product you can get on the internet and it has sulfur in it so it smells pretty bad, but it worked and it also helped heal their wounds. The only bad thing is it only comes in a paste so you have to actually rub it on each chicken that has wounds.
     
  6. digginchicks

    digginchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2009
    Sullivan, Indiana
    Wow thank you. Since this morning there have been 4 hens that it has happened to and I'm sure that the other chickens are doing it. I have them separated now. I have 16% layer crumbles always in the feeder for them. The only thing it could be is that I have been keeping them cooped up all the time so I guess that I will start letting them out now since I definately cant have this. Thanks for all the help![​IMG]
     
  7. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    How many hens do you have Josh ?

    Is there only one or two that don't have the feathers picked off ??
     
  8. digginchicks

    digginchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2009
    Sullivan, Indiana
    I have 23 hens. There are five that have been plucked. I fed them dry cat food today. I feed them scrambled eggs like once a week so I dont know why they are doing it. I have the ones that heve gotten plucked separated.
     
  9. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Woodville, MS
    How large of a run do the 23 hens have? Once feather picking/cannibalism has started, it's hard to stop and I doubt you have the pens to keep them all separated from one another permanently so letting them out if you can is probably the best option.
     
  10. digginchicks

    digginchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2009
    Sullivan, Indiana
    I pretty much allow them to free range when I do let them out but I was worried about the cold so I have been keepign them up.
     

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