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Feathers won't grow back!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by roverjo, May 30, 2009.

  1. roverjo

    roverjo New Egg

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    May 30, 2009
    A very aggressive rooster--who has since moved on to another home--managed to rake off many of the back feathers to several of my hens, and although the worst victims have since replaced most of their feathers, a Buff Orpington still walks around with a very bare and unsightly back. I think she's getting sunburned! We've watched closely and can see no signs of pecking from others in the flock. Our current rooster doesn't seem to be nearly as rough. This has been the situation for the last 5 months. Any suggestions?
     
  2. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    Aw. poor baby! I don't have any good suggestions expect maybe repost this on the Diseases Injuries and Cures thread so that the great people over there might help you.....
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Seems like I've read that feathers may not necessarily grow back til the next molt. I have one who's been walking around with a bare spot for months. I keep BluKote on the spot or keep a simple homemade saddle on her, like this:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=167

    Scroll down near the bottom of the page. I didn't even do the tail feather part, just the two holes for the wings.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2009
  4. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    It is possible for the rooster to rip out the follicles. The feathers may never grow back. I would recommend some chicken saddles to protect their backs.
     
  5. newtochickens

    newtochickens New Egg

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    Jun 6, 2008
    I read your post & for what it's worth I have experianced exactly what you are in regards to the lack of back feathers. I have 8 Wyandotte hens & 1 rooster, I've had them all for about a year now, All of the hens at one time were without feathers on their back. Now, about half of them kind of have feathers but only 1 has regained most all of her feathers back. Initially I freaked out & ordered 8 of those hen saddles. They all wore them for months, but the feathers didn't come back so I took them off, I was then afraid the saddles were keeping the feathers from comming back. None of the chickens seem to care they are missing their feathers & I get anywhere from 4 - 8 eggs each & every day. If I get rid of these chickens & start over again, I will not have another Rooster. I like the Rooster, he is great, but extremely aggressive, my wife cannot enter the chicken run without him attempting to ambush her. The hens follow the Rooster around & he is extremely protective of them. He crows all of the time & as we are out in the country, this isn't a problem. I wish he wasn't as aggressive. Perhaps I will look into a less agressive bread. Regarding the lack of feathers, I am not a "chicken expert", but I wouldn't worry to much about the lack of feathers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  6. gckiddhouse

    gckiddhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2008
    Desert Hills, AZ
    Somewhere I read or heard that they will grow back if they were "pulled out", but if they are "broken off", then they won't grow back until the next molt. This makes sense as the body probably doesn't recognize that they are missing if the pen is still there.

    We have quite a few with bare spots. I am glad you mentioned the possibility of sun burn. I think one of ours is sunburned, now that you mention it.

    The saddles need little wings on them. When we put those on, it saved the back, but the other hens just pick at their wings. So, now they have bare wings. It looks really gross. [​IMG]
     
  7. newtochickens

    newtochickens New Egg

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    Jun 6, 2008
    Some of mine are just missing the feathers on their backs, others are missing feathers on thier backs & the tops of their wings. They are not attractive looking chickens. I have a freind & he has more chickens that I do & his look the same as mine. I think the key is to NOT have a Rooster! If I have a problem with CJ (the Rooster) really bullying one of the hens, I put him in time-out. A fenced in area about 10' x 10' next to the chicken run, he will stay there for a day or so. This sounds a little weird, but when I allow him back with the girls, he is on his best behavior for several days after that.
     

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