Feather plucking

swimmom

Songster
10 Years
Apr 7, 2009
229
1
121
Carolinas
One of my hens (a red sex link) has almost no tail feathers left and the soft downy feathers near her vent are almost all gone. My SLW is plucking them right off her - I've seen her do it! I am not able to separate the girls and am trying to come up with a way to make the RSL's feathers less appealing. I wonder if all the bright red skin is now like a massive target to the SLW. I tried to find gentian violet which would stain the skin blue, but can't find any. Iodine didn't really change the color much. Am I on the right track, or should I try something other than trying to "get the red out"? I'm worried that with winter coming the naked skin will be suseptible to frost bite. Any help is much appreciated.
 

ADozenGirlz

The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png
10 Years
Oct 18, 2009
6,121
89
301
Connecticut
Quote:
Is there any way you can get a large dog crate to separate out the plucker? Is she eating the feathers she pulls out? If so, she may need more protein in her diet. Do they have enough room to get away from each other (ie: sometimes overcrowding causes picking).

You really need to get to the root of the problem, which is WHY your SLW is picking her. That's the key to solve the problem.
 
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Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
592
448
South Georgia
BluKote is mostly gentian violet.

With that much damage, you are going to have to remove the SLW, even if it means to the stew pot, I'm afraid. You are not far from her killing the other one.
 

TreeHugger

Songster
Apr 7, 2008
342
12
196
Black Salve (rooster booster) can be used as a deterrant but it's messy. I agree with adozengirlz that you need to figure out the root of the issue - are they lacking protein in their diet; crowded; etc.

However, I think sometimes it just a bad habit they pick up. I recently sold one of my hens for feather picking. She was the only one who did it and I tried all sorts of things to try to stop the habit. She did not target any particular chicken but instead I had multiple birds with bald spots on their heads. I finally had enough when I caught her feather picking a hen in the run next to hers (she had to reach through the fence). Good Luck!
 

swimmom

Songster
10 Years
Apr 7, 2009
229
1
121
Carolinas
Chicken stew sounds good! The feather plucker is my laziest layer anyway and is the hen that has decided to start crowing. I guess that's three strikes!
 

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