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feathers don't seem to be growing back

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by older mountain, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. older mountain

    older mountain In the Brooder

    Sep 26, 2010
    We have 6 2 yr old red sex links who lost many feathers this past spring/summer. I suspected the back/shoulder feathers were due to the aggressive rooster. He's gone now. We have about 30 new hens and 2 young roosters. None of the new hens are missing feathers. Of the older hens, 3 are fully feathered now and 3 are still missing many feathers on the back, belly, bottom and legs. They don't seem to be growing many back and I have no idea why they'd be missing on legs and belly. Any suggestions? It is starting to get below freezing some nights. They have coops and heat lamps, but I worry about the ones without feathers freezing.

  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I recommend you visually inspect them for lice/mites. If you dont see any, it could be molt in which case it could be awhile before they regrow feathers.
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Quote:X2--The youngsters aren't likely to have a major molt at their age where the older hens are so that could account for the difference in feather loss, but it's always a good idea to look for mites/lice when your in doubt.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    The feathers that the rooster damaged would grow back pretty soon if the whole feather were gone. However, with mine, he did not take out the whole feather but some of the shaft was left. These feathers only grow back after the hen has molted.

    I agree with checking them for lice and mites. That might help explain the missing feathers on the legs and belly. I think there is also a good possibility of them being in molt. Some take a lot longer to finish the molt than others. I suggest you look through these links. I think the two together do a pretty good job in talking about molt. I find the bit about fast and slow molters very interesting.

    Good luck!

    Mississippi State describes molting

    Kansas State feather loss
  5. older mountain

    older mountain In the Brooder

    Sep 26, 2010
    We didn't see any, but treated for mites over the summer. The 3 girls that are missing feathers have been missing them for several months. Our high day time temp doesn't normally reach 50 any longer and our night temp is dipping below freezing. Could these girls freeze? I'm concerned it might be picking since it doesn't seem to be anything else and only these 3 seem to be affected. I can speak to egg production since there are other hens laying. How do I figure out if it is picking?
  6. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    You could try offering the hens with missing feathers additional protein. Feathers are made of protein, so that might help them regrow faster. Mashed up hardboiled eggs are a good source of protein.

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