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Help my chickens are loosing there feathers!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by mallenfam00, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. mallenfam00

    mallenfam00 New Egg

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    Hello my name is Debbie Allen and we have 9 chickens. We have 3 orpingtons, 2 barrred rocks, 2 sexlinks, 2 rhode Island Reds. About a few weeks ago we noticed that some of there feathers were missing on there back close to there tails. It started out just the sexlinks were loosing them then the rhodes were and then the orpingtons now and a little on one of the barred rock. There is still one barred rock that has not lost any. I thought maybe it was her so I isolated her, but then saw one of the sexlinks do it to another hen. We have now seen all of them doing this to one another, but the one barred rock still has all her feathers. We have tried bitter apple, no peck and nothing is working. Has anyone experienced this and if so do you have any suggestions we are out of ideas. Thanks in advance! Deb
     
  2. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just posted this on someone else's thread...

    I also had this problem and by the time I rehomed the plucker the other hens had picked up the habit so...I added a young rooster and the plucking ceased! Another thing to try is upping the protein in their diet. BOSS are high in protein and I also give them freeze dried mealworms. Some people on here even raise their own mealworms to supplement their diet.
     
  3. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am assuming that they are plucking each other and that they don't have mites or fleas or other creepy crawlies.
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] Feather plucking is usually caused by boredom or lack of protein (if they eat the feathers). What you can do is up their protein intake by feeding extra mealworms, scrambled eggs, a little dry cat food or meat scraps and/or give them a flock block to peck at instead. If that doesn't help you can try pinless peepers or poultry blinders:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/144815/pinless-peeper-poultry-blinders

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/569815/pinless-peepers-saves-the-day-or-chicken-butts-anyway

    Flock block recipe:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/733009/flock-block-recipe

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/723868/my-flock-block-recipe

    Good luck!
     
    4 people like this.
  5. mallenfam00

    mallenfam00 New Egg

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    I have not seen any flees or mites besides it is to cold here for thiem. What is BOSS?
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Rep of Ireland
  7. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh sorry...black oil sunflower seeds

    I had read that chickens will eat feathers to make up for a protein deficiency and even though my birds are on a good feed I figured it couldn't hurt to up the protein. I give it to them later in the day like a treat so they will eat their regular food during the day and not just fill up on sunflower seeds!
     
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If and when all else fails give the Pinless Peepers a try. They are effective and generally if removed once the birds are back to free ranging they will give up this bad habit.
     
  9. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How hard are they to put on? I ordered some then never used them...
     
  10. chickenpooplady

    chickenpooplady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] from Highland County Ohio and God Bless!!! My uncle's chickens did this to each other when they were bored and did not have enough space.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013

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