Feeling guilty

Graciesing2us

Songster
5 Years
May 13, 2015
201
100
141
Hi all,
Just need some advice. I have a hen who's 50% of her feathers have been missing for some time. She seems happy as far as I can tell as she's eating, drinking and laying daily. I was concerned as her poor skin is red raw and inflamed often. She is the same age as my rooster, my other hens are a couple of years older. The other hens haven't had any other loss in feathers apart from the usual moulting. But grow back as quick as they come out. The rooster (Jeff) constantly seems to want to mate with her. Anyway, today i segregated her by building a smaller coop within the main coop. The thing is i feel extremely guilty, as she's chirping and Jeff is pacing up and diwn. I've given her verm x poultry zest. I just feel guilty that she can't be with the rest of the flock. Am I doing the right thing?
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
59,122
50,672
1,302
southern Ohio
Can you post a few pictures of the hen? How old is she exactly? Overmating and feather picking are the usual causes for missing feathers, unless they are molting. Feather picking may be a result of overcrowdinging, too little protein in the diet, or boredom from not getting out to free range. When hens lose a large amount of feathers on their backs from overmating, it may not grow back until the next yearly molt. Hen saddles are food for covering the bare areas until the next molt. Here is a homemade one piece one that is easily made and you can find others for sale online:
http://www.linnacresfarm.com/2014/04/how-to-make-simple-hen-saddleapron.html
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,899
832
California's Redwood Coast
I just feel guilty that she can't be with the rest of the flock. Am I doing the right thing?
No reason to feel guilty when you are doing your best to protect a member of your flock! :hugs

I personally would have the boy locked up and let the gal with the rest of the flock... giving her time to heal... her feathers may not come in again until she does molt. She might need a saddle to protect her back or even her feathers when they do come in. How old is this hen and rooster?

Regarding red, raw, inflamed... is it just over mating friction or have you checked to see if there is any external parasite issue as well? This is best done after dark with a flashlight. Is your boy also red and inflamed... check his vent area and abdomen.. many of us need to treat on occasion, so seeing something doesn't make a bad keeper.. it just makes a keeper.

This younger hen... she is going to be the most docile and easiest for Jeff to take advantage of.. he may not be man enough to approach the elder ladies... causing all his affections to be directed at the gal his age.

Photos can be helpful.

Feather quality and growth can be effected by nutrition... using a grower or flock raiser instead of layer may be beneficial.. I never switch but just add oyster shell on the side for active layers... noting the higher protein and amino acid content support feather growth and overall immunity much better than layer... which is the bare minimum nutrient to keep a light bodied bird like Leghorn in laying condition. Broody's, molters, juveniles, roosters... also don't need the excess calcium provided by layer when not in lay and with feathers being made from 90% protein and it's amino acids... my older birds go through much softer molts and recover way faster not losing their personalities and becoming withdrawn during that time as they had in the past. Being sure not to diminish nutrition by excess treats is also important.. many things folks say is a good source of protein like eggs are 34% protein but 64% fat.. The fat ratio is quite high on meal worms also.

Hope this helps some! :fl
 

Crestcrazy2

Crowing
Apr 29, 2020
1,328
8,272
391
Missuori
I have a hen named ( by my little brother) feathers, her name used to be baldy because her back was all red and bare when we got her .
She got better after molting and also the two roos we got with her disappeared along with a buff orpington named Goldy , I think a hawk or cyote got them .
Is your hen sunburned ?
 

Graciesing2us

Songster
5 Years
May 13, 2015
201
100
141
Thanks everyone for the advice, will get a photo of her tomorrow and will swap them round tomorrow. ☺
 

Graciesing2us

Songster
5 Years
May 13, 2015
201
100
141
Can you post a few pictures of the hen? How old is she exactly? Overmating and feather picking are the usual causes for missing feathers, unless they are molting. Feather picking may be a result of overcrowdinging, too little protein in the diet, or boredom from not getting out to free range. When hens lose a large amount of feathers on their backs from overmating, it may not grow back until the next yearly molt. Hen saddles are food for covering the bare areas until the next molt. Here is a homemade one piece one that is easily made and you can find others for sale online:
http://www.linnacresfarm.com/2014/04/how-to-make-simple-hen-saddleapron.html
DSC_0002.JPG

The photos don't show how bald and red she is folks I'm afraid.. Feel like I've done something wrong 😔
 

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Graciesing2us

Songster
5 Years
May 13, 2015
201
100
141
I'll try and get some more photos tomorrow, thanks for your replies though, i feel better a bit noe
 

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