Feather regrowth time?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by shmccarthy, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. shmccarthy

    shmccarthy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a rooster, who is not with us anymore, tht was not very nice to his hens. He would pull their feathers out and the ended up with bare backs and bald spots. I got rid of the rooster as soon as I noticed the condition of the hens. There were about 18 to choose from but he had his favorites, and those 3 hens don't look very good. I bought saddles for them, and only two of the saddles have managed to stay on. Those hens that have the saddles, look a lot better than before and their feathers are almost completely regrown. Two of my other hens, however, refuse to have anything to do with the saddles. The new rooster will help them take the saddles off!
    My big questions are, how long does it normally take for feathers to grown back, from bald spots, and what else can I do to help them? The two that still need their feathers to grown back will not wear the saddles..not that it will help much because I do not have that rooster anymore. Are there any supplements I can give them that will help their feathers grow back? I have a new rooster now and he is just a doll. He's young, but he's sweet to his girls. I noticed some regrowth, but it's happening quite slow seemingly.. Is it normal for feathers to grow back slowly?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Northwest Arkansas
    Feathers grow at different speeds for different chickens. That’s genetic. The “fast-feathering “ gene controls how fast. Some people on this forum will tell you all kinds of things to feed them to try to speed that process up, but personally I don’t bother with that type of micromanagement. They grow back when they grow back.

    By the way, there is a separate gene (or genes, not sure which) that controls how fast they molt. That gene does not control how fast the feathers grow back. It controls how fast they fall out.

    If the feather came totally out, shaft and all, it will soon grow back. If part of the shaft was left in, that feather will not be replaced until the chicken goes through a molt. That might have a lot to do with which feathers are growing back and which are not.

    Some hens have brittle feathers. They break really easily. Through no fault of the rooster, those hens can become barebacked. Immature chickens, both cockerels and pullets, may have not learned what proper technique is when it comes to mating. They both have to do their part. If you combine an immature hormone-driven cockerel with a pullet that doesn’t know what to do you can have problems. Then if you add brittle feathers to the mix, you really see some bare backs. If given time most immature cockerels and pullets mature out of it, but those brittle feathers can remain a problem.

    It’s also possible the rooster was a brute and needed to be removed. I sure can’t tell from here.
     
  3. Nonnie195

    Nonnie195 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2013
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    Ridgerunner,

    I really like the expression "immature hormone-driven cockerel." I love my rooster. Solomon is almost one year old and very large; he is a splash orpington. He always insists the girls eat first and is always on the lookout for anything that could be dangerous. I have nine girls and most of them have some feather disturbance, but my Delaware has one spot on her back about the size of a quarter that is pretty much raw. I separated Solomon last night in an effort to give the girls some rest. He is in a separate enclosed area in the run; they can see each other during the day. His coop is one I got from Tractor Supply last year (for a rabbit) and is really small for him, but it does give him some protection and I can lock it up at night.

    Today was his first day without the girls; he acted very depressed. When I got home tonight, a little after dark, I went to check on all of them. When I checked on Solomon, he was not there. Instead, he was in another area of the run on a perch. I have no idea how he got out. I have automated doors and they were closed so he was not able to get in the big coop with the girls. He is a big bird with small wings so I don't think he could fly over the four foot divider fence.

    I don't want to get rid of him and your expression got me thinking. How long does it take an immature hormone-driven cockerel to become mature and not quite so hormone-driven?
     

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