Help needed! 2 Chickens with feather issues--what can I do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by horsepowerhaven, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    I have two chickens with feather issues. The first is a Cucku Maran that is about 3 years old. She had a lot of feather loss on her back and wings from my rooster, but after putting a saddle on her I did not see any improvement on her back and wings. Then she started to lose all the feathers on her tail too. She lays me an egg almost every day, but when she started to lose her feathers her shells got very thin and much lighter in color. I have plenty of oyster shell available and all my other hens have nice thick shells. She has looked like this for over 6 months now. Thoughts? Suggestions? I did remove the poop that was stuck in her feathers right after I took the pictures.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My second hen is a bantam frizzle that is about a year old. I have witnessed the other chickens actually plucking her feathers right off her body and eating them. She now has almost no feathers and tends to hang out by herself (understandably). Will her feathers grow back? What can I do to help her?
    She used to look like this.
    [​IMG]
    Now she looks even worse than this as this picture was taken a couple weeks ago.
    [​IMG]

    Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  2. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2009
    If the other chickens are eating the feathers they lack enough protein in their diet. You can add flock raiser to their diet. My girls have 3 choices of food. Layer pellets, flock raiser and scratch. You can really give them a boost by purchasing cheap burger or chicken parts. I usually cook the meat in just enough water to cover. Cook until done and let meat cool in the water. When cool feed it to the chickens....if you choose chicken feed bones and all. They will eat the meat off the bones like piranha. When they are done I bury the bones in my veggie garden.

    I use the cooking water to make them a box of pasta in the summer and oatmeal in the winter.

    IMHO I would take the saddle off the hen. It's too hot in Arizona to have that horrible unbreathable thing on. Her skin needs air circulation or she will start to have skin problems. I think it would be causing her a lot of discomfort.

    Can you separate the hens from the rooster for a while?
     
  3. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    If the chickens didn't have enough protein wouldn't they be eating other chicken's feathers? The only feather's they are eating is from this little frizzle. I already feed flock raiser and give meat as treats.

    My rooster has a broken leg so he can't mate with the Cucko Maran anymore or any other hens. Her feather loss happened in the fall and has gotten worse. Her back and wings were totally ripped up by the rooster so I had to put the saddle on her.

    I free range my chickens and the little frizzle keeps to herself. Will the feathers grow back? What else can I do?
     
  4. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    I'm still looking for some help...
     
  5. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    Bump
     
  6. BlueEggs4Life

    BlueEggs4Life Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 5, 2009
    West Michigan
    I've never had a chicken picked this bad before but when one starts loosing feathers due to picking (usually just on the butt) I spray her down with blue cote from the local tractor supply...it helps heal any possible infections if there is broken skin and the other chickens dont seem to like the taste because they leave the sprayed one's alone. They turn purple from the spray but it's worked for me. Hope you find a solution for your girls!
     
  7. BlueEggs4Life

    BlueEggs4Life Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 5, 2009
    West Michigan
    correction, that's Blu-Kote. Here is a pic of the bottle.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2009
    Blu kote works wonders. The feathers will grow back. If the rooster can't mate then she doesn't need the saddle. I think it's irritating her and making her hot.

    Did you check them for mites or lice? If these two girls were the weakest in the bunch the bugs would have an effect on them before the others.
     
  9. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    Thank you for the replies!!! I'm familiar with Blu Kote as I have used it on my horses. I actually had a bottle explode in our lovely AZ heat. I removed the saddle from the hen but her feather loss has existed for months before the heat.

    They have no signs of bugs, lice, or mites on them anywhere. Just baldness and no signs of feathers growing back.

    How quickly should the feathers grow back? I also have several bald backed hens that have not grown feathers back for months, even after getting rid of the rooster that was causing the problem.
     
  10. Albanydog

    Albanydog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2009
    Central Oregon Coast
    Quote:I am not expert, just interested in hearing what others have to say about their feather loss.
    Your frizzled caught my eye (her before photo), she looks exactly like my super frizzled roo, the thin scruffy looking feather, which is I am told a defect from poor breeding practices.
    Good Luck!
     

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