help my hens are homely looking....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by calamarie, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. calamarie

    calamarie Out Of The Brooder

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    My hens have been looking homely and ratty for some time now, I had roosters to blame I thought, so I got rid of all but 1 small sea bright bantam rooster. Still after many months of the other roosters being gone I notice my hens have missing feathers on their back and top of wings, one is especially ratty and has hardly any tail feathers. They are not nice and fluffy and plump, just sort of scrawny and rough looking. Could this still be from my 1 small rooster? I don't notice the hens picking on each other much when i go out and watch them but on occasion there are spats. My coop is kept clean and they have a nice big run to be out in.....I have had a few randomly get sick and die and I keep coming back to worms but I am really not thrilled about tossing eggs [​IMG]....I have also heard that the hens that are laying a lot tend to look rough and when they are shiny and big that can mean they aren't laying much any more but I have no clue if that has any truth to it. Any advice would be much appreciated, I want healthy looking hens! [​IMG]
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Well, those are old feathers, they should molt soon or may be in a molt, and the new feathers will look better. How do the combs look, how are they laying? Are they active? Those are all signs of healthy hens.

    Make sure you are using quality feed, clean water, and unless you have a huge parasite problem, they should be ok. You could do a fecal test for worms if it would give you peace of mind.

    Mrs K
     
  3. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

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    Could you post a picture?
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    How old are birds?
    How many birds total?
    How big is coop and run in feet by feet?
    What is your location?

    Broken and battered feathers won't grow back until the bird molts, which if you are in the northern hemisphere and birds are about 18 months, old could be soon.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    I believe your issue is nutrition and not space....Too much gets put on space requirements and not on the overall health of the flock....The Rooster regardless of his small stature is breeding the butt off your hens...Do you need a Rooster? I never kept one this year and my hens are great and fluffy......Zero stress on my hens from constant breeding....

    Nutrition wise- Start feeding grower and layer at a 50/50 ratio with access to grit and oyster shell...Works for me...Plus I free range an hour a day or twice a day.....

    Once the Roo is gone and they moult really good for the first time...All feathers will grow back...

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Space/population first, then diet.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Based on where it comes from, grower could actually be 15%. I'd switch them to a multi flock (usually 18%) with oyster shell on the side. Do they get out to free range? If not, be sure they have daily access to greens. Clover and dandelions are excellent sources of nutrient. check out the option of fermented feed. That works wonders in improving feather and egg quality. I agree with Aart. Space is definitely a key component of health for very many reasons.
     
  8. calamarie

    calamarie Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry it took me a bit to get back to everyone. :) flock is 18 months, about 15 birds, space is plenty for them 16x30 outdoor run plus a coop. They used to get let out daily but haven't recently but the shabby looking has been going on for a long time. I have had 2 or 3 just get sick and die by morning for no a parent reason. I think the issue is probably the rooster, and I don't need one at all but he's still around. I feel like my hens are thinner than they should be especially my buff orphingtons who tend to be big birds. As far as nutrition goes they are on a layer feed by purina that has oyster shell, and access to clean water. I'll attach some pics :). My easter egger isn't missing a lot of feathers but seems thin and around the back of her neck seems to have thinning. Both silver Wyandotte have raw bald spots on the top of their rump. [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  9. calamarie

    calamarie Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. calamarie

    calamarie Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
     

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