Feather problem--Updated

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Farmer Kitty, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    I have an ISA Brown pullet that the rooster rode hard and she lost feathers on her back. She was growing them back nicely and then a couple of days ago I noticed they were missing again. I thought maybe he had been after her again. Well today she has bloody patches so I seperated her. They get black oil sunflower seed as part of their scratch so I don't think that is an issue. I'm wondering at what point is it reasonably safe to put her back with the others? Also, Silkiechicken mentioned pick stop on the "Open vent" post and I'm wondering if I can find some will this work for her once her wounds heal?
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2007
  2. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    What about using a chicken saddle? It will protect her back from feather picking and from being rode hard.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    If you can find anti pick or pick stop that tastes bad for the birds, the offender doing the picking should get a nasty surprise on the next feather snack and hopefully quit. As soon as her wounds are healed, she can go back. If they aren't that bad of wounds and you can get some anti pick on her, she can go back now. Good luck.
  4. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    I'm heading for town tomorrow and Thursday both so I'll look and see if I can find some anti pick. Her wounds are not bad-more surface and small ones at that.
  5. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    I couldn't find any anti-pick stuff but, at one place they told me I could use vasaline and a sulfa med. on top of that and it would produce much the same effect. I'm busy right now and won't be able to watch her closely so it might be a day or two before I try it.

    Thanks for the help! [​IMG]
  6. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    You might check her for feather mites. It seems unusual for feathers to break so quickly.... Feather mites eat the feathers and thus their structure gets weak and they break easily. Once the feathers are broken....the skin has no protection against the rooster's nails and spurs.

    I agree with the saddle. New feathers won't grow if they are broken until molt...so you may have to pluck some of them.

    Good Luck
  7. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    They have been plucked! It's not a case of broken feathers, they are totally missing! [​IMG] (frusterated with the chickens) It's winter here, the poor girl needs those feathers to stay warm.
  8. BlueMoon

    BlueMoon Songster

    Oct 3, 2007
    Scenic Verbank, NY
    I made a few saddles last month with rudimentary sewing skills. Mine were polar fleece on the inside and a cotton chamois on the outside, as it was the heaviest I had at hand.
    The pattern I had was from Storey/Gail Damerow. The thread may still be active if you want to see pictures.
    The feathers are growing back slowly and the hens got used to the saddles quickly. And they look adorable, DH calls them the Super Chickens.
  9. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    I'm glad to hear the saddles are easy to make. I will try to look up that thread. The vasiline and sulfa didn't work. I had to take her back out less than 1/2 hour later. I have some bitter apple spray that is all natural and is used to keep dogs and cats from chewing on things. I'm going to try it. I had forgotton all about it until tonight.
  10. Gracie_Chickie

    Gracie_Chickie In the Brooder

    Sep 22, 2007
    Did the bitter apple work? I have a couple of RIR hens whose tail feathers are being picked out.

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