feather problem

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chicknmania, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

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    We have a Golden Comet hen, just about 2 years old. She has a molting problem, been molting all summer. In addition, I noticed yesterday that the feathers on her back are broken OFF, leaving just the shafts. . We wondered why she'd been trying to roost in the garage at night the past few nights but I think it is because she can't fly to her high roost in the barn. I don't know if the broken feathers are from the rooster, or if they were just old feathers so they just broke off. She goes around clucking like she were calling chicks, or come hithering a roo. Protein has not been an issue for her, she gets plenty, since she free ranges. I am thinking about confining her and maybe trying feather fixer, or at least giving her a break from the roosters. any other suggeestions? I thought about a hen apron but would it stay on over time?
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    How many hens and roosters do you have? Generally, if you have any more than one male per 6-8 hens, there will be feather damage. It is certainly possible that the rooster is causing the broken feathers. If so, you should probably either get rid of the rooster, or put a hen saddle on.

    Watch her and the other hens, too. See if any of the other birds are picking on her. Pecking can also break feathers. If you notice a hen in particular pecking at her, isolate that hen for a few weeks. When she comes back into the flock, she will be low in the pecking order and won't be able to do any picking for a while.

    I'd also check for mites and lice. Look around the vent, under the neck feathers, and beneath the tail feathers. Mites will appear as brownish-black specks moving around, and lice will look like tannish specks. You might also notice small white eggs on the feather shafts. If you see any evidence of mites, treat with Sevin dust or a mite spray like Poultry Protector.
     
  3. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

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    WE have a higher hen to roo ratio than we should, but there are no other hens that have the problem, so I don't think it's that. The hens hang with same roos for the most part and they separate into groups. Her rooster is the alpha in the flock, so she doesn't get too much harassment from the others. She doesn't have lice or mites. No one is picking on her. She hangs with the flock, and her group, during the day, and they all get along fine.

    I know GC hens often have a molting problem, I have seen it before. That was why I was wondering if there is anytning special to use. AND I think the constant clucking might indicate a hormone problem.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013

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