Hen-pecked polish roo trying to regrow crest

JLS

Love my feathered babies!
13 Years
May 29, 2009
551
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Maine
My Coop
My Coop
I have a young Polish rooster that had his crest feathers plucked out by the flock. I tried everything to discourage the pullets from picking at his new feathers (blue coat, pine tar, no pick lotion, higher protein feed). Nothing worked. They love the blood in the new feathers. I separated him from the ladies on August 13th.

Due to his coloration (black polish with white crest) the new feathers are very obvious. As you can see from the photo, the feathers are still encapsulated. He doesn't preen himself. I try to help him but he doesn't like to hold still for any length of time.

Does anyone have any advice about this situation? Is there anything that can be done to expedite this process? The pullets are at the point of lay now (2 have already started). I am eager to have him rejoin the flock.
 

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You could trim his crest. It will help get those sheaths off faster, and allow him to see better. He cannot preen his own crest so you do have to help them sometimes.

What are your birds eating? Feeding a higher protein feed will keep them from craving feathers and blood.

A single polish will often become a target in a batch. You can also try tying his crest up so the center is hidden if you don't want to trim.

Polish do require extra care and maintenance. If the pecking continues you may need to keep him separately. Years ago I had my first polish rooster have his skull pecked open so I had to learn pretty quickly how to keep and maintain my polish.
 
I had 2 polish hens in my mixed flock for about 4 years. From the age of 3 months on, one or the other would have their crest feathers pecked out by flock mates a couple of times a year. Not both, but only one would be pecked, and they alternated. BluKote worked for me, being applied every 2-3 days. If I noticed it starting, I could usually prevent all of the feathers being pecked out. If it happened for 2 days, all of the feathers would usually be gone. Once feather shafts were growing in, the BluKote had to be continued until all in. Eventually I lost one to a predator, and then 2 years later a hawk got the second one who had been blinded in one eye by her flock.They are pretty birds, but a bit too high maintenance for me.
 
..... You can also try tying his crest up so the center is hidden if you don't want to trim.

I never thought of that. What would you suggest to use to tie up his crest?
I am feeding the birds 'Nutrena NatureWise All Flock pellets' (18% protein) along with oyster shell & 'Manna Pro Omega Eggmaker'.
 
. BluKote worked for me, being applied every 2-3 days. If I noticed it starting, I could usually prevent all of the feathers being pecked out. If it happened for 2 days, all of the feathers would usually be gone. Once feather shafts were growing in, the BluKote had to be continued until all in.

I have 4 polish (3 hens & 1 rooster), 4 BO hens, and 4 EE hens. My whole flock do not realize that most chickens don't like rain. Lol. The 2 polish that are black with white crests attract attention once their feathers are wet. BluKote has worked well on the hen. I am not sure why it is not working for the rooster.:idunno
 
I haven't tried tying a crest up but have read people using regular hair ties. I personally might try a rubber band but I haven't done it.

Roosters will often allow females to pick at them and they will just take it. Sometimes it's a form of grooming and the roosters just close their eyes.

I too have used bluekote to hide the scalp. I find putting the bird down while the bluekote is wet will give those that peck at it a mouth full of yuck.

Sometimes Polish just don't work in a mixed flock. They are often best kept with other polish.
 

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