Help! Not sure why my hens are loosing their feathers!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hanleyhomegrown, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. hanleyhomegrown

    hanleyhomegrown New Egg

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    Sep 28, 2011
    We have 3 hens and a rooster that are a year old on April1st. We got a straight run and ended up w 4 roosters and 3 hens. After getting rid of 3 of the 4 roosters, it seems there is something going on the hens now- they are really losing feathers! We are not sure if it is from the rooster or molting...or something else? We checked the hens and from what we can tell it is not mites, but to be safe we have dusted them all w diatomaceous earth. Can anyone tell by looking at these photos what is going on? We are new to keeping chickens and worry this hen with develop an infection! Help!! Should we separate her from the rest of the flock until she heals? Or separate him from the girls?Thank you so much!![​IMG]
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  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    looks like a treading, otherwise known as over breeding.
     
  3. hanleyhomegrown

    hanleyhomegrown New Egg

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    Sep 28, 2011
    Can you explain this to me further? Is there anything I can do to help them?
     
  4. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Sure,

    When a rooster mounts a hen, to breed, he stands on her hips and back, his claws an damage the feathers on his favorite hens and they can fall out.

    Look up 'hen saddles' people sell them in the BYC buying and Selling forum.

    you can put the cloth saddle onto hen and the rooster won't hurt the skin or feathers...

    I own two of them even though have 5 roosters, it always seems like one or two hens get all the love'n.
     
  5. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Add to it he will steady himself by grabbing a beakful of her head feathers and that's why they're heads look like that.
     
  6. hanleyhomegrown

    hanleyhomegrown New Egg

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    Sep 28, 2011
    Ok so do you think if we put saddles on the her and removed him for a week or so while she heals that should do the trick? I have noticed that it looks like he is missing feathers too- I have watched the girls peak him too...maybe to fight him off? Fromwhat I have read, they could need more potien so I have raised the potein level for them as well. The poor girl look terrible and really want to help her heal! Any thoughts or sufggestions are very much appreciated!
     
  7. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    It will take awhile for the feathers to grow back, as long as she has a saddle on and he hasn't broken the skin I wouldn't bother separating him.

    protein is a good start.
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Also, I think that chickens often molt at about a year, and I think that the mating tears out feathers that are loose do to the molt. The reason I ask, is that last year, nearly all my hens looked like that, now my roo is a year older, and hopefully more skilled. But anyway, while all are getting their feathers ruffled, only the hens that are turning a year old, are getting bared back.

    I tried the saddles, but did not have much luck getting them to stay on. But they healed up just fine in the long run.

    MrsK
     

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