Hen picking out her own feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mendocinochickens, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. mendocinochickens

    mendocinochickens New Egg

    May 23, 2011
    I realize this problem has been addressed before, and believe me when I say I have tried every remedy put forth on this and other forums. My little Red Star, Cosette, is about a year old now and is in great health. She eats well, lays eggs, and gets along well with her coop mates. Trouble is, she has picked all the feathers off her back and around her neck. She was the rooster's favorite until we gave him away in January (we thought he was the problem). We also thought she was being picked on until we isolated her and discovered she was doing it herself. Here are the things I have tried:

    • black oil sunflower sees
    • vitamins and/or organic vinegar in water
    • higher protein chicken feed
    • yogurt
    • cat food
    • meal worms (they love these)
    • BluKote
    • Dusting for mites
    • Wazine-17 for worms
    • Rooster Booster No Pick
    • Pine Tar (2 kinds)
    • Vick's VapoRub

    Finally, last week I took her to the vet. She checked for mites and disease - nothing. Cosette is, as I have said, completely healthy. I am almost resigned that she will always be bald, but I just wanted to check one more time to see if there is something I've missed.

    I absolutely enjoy this web site, and it is the first place I come to when I need advice. It's nice to know there are others who really care for their chickens.
  2. weirdturkeyfreak

    weirdturkeyfreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2010
    take a closer look at the feathers she is pulling out. are they broken or ruined in any sort of way? my turkey absolutely hated imperfect feathers so she would pluck out of herself every feather that was ruined in any way.
  3. mendocinochickens

    mendocinochickens New Egg

    May 23, 2011
    I'm assuming she eats them because I don't see any of her feathers around the coop or yard. She has many 'ruined' feathers on her wing that have been there for quite a while now. I can't figure her out ...
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

  5. mendocinochickens

    mendocinochickens New Egg

    May 23, 2011
    Thank you for the helpful link - I have read about this deficiency, and I believe I have addressed it in giving her the vitamins and seeds. This is baffling, huh? Has anyone heard of this before?
  6. Shells

    Shells New Egg

    Jan 18, 2011
    Hi my Silver Lace Wyandotte is doing exactly the same thing except she is not eating the feathers. I will follow this with interest. She has just become un-broody and we wondered if this might have anything to do with it.
  7. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

    Oct 3, 2011
    My Coop
    Chickens will pull out their own feathers when they don't have enough protein in their diet. Their feathers are 85% protein so that's why they eat them.
  8. Duxbury Hen

    Duxbury Hen New Egg

    Sep 15, 2012
    My otherwise healthy hen has just started same.. We have 6 hens that are about 1 yr they are all good layers and get along.. I feed the "extra egg" and give them scratch for treat. The coop and yard have fresh hay each week.. If protein is the answer what do you suggest to supplement ?
  9. emmafisher

    emmafisher Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 1, 2013
    Hi, I'm looking for advice. I have 4 hens in a massive coup and they get let out every 2 or 3 days to free range in my garden. Yesterday they were out and we noticed about 10 white feathers on a grass, assumed they were from my only Sussex hen . This morning, I went to the coop and the hut is full of her feathers. She seems to be grooming, not excessively, and they're just falling out. I've had her a year and last year she didn't molt to this extent. They are coming out round her neck, back and breast. I'm worried. Please can anyone advise?
  10. Angie16hearts

    Angie16hearts Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2014
    I'm not sure this is the right thread for this question. How ever I'll try any way. My top hen plucks her feathers only while she is laying. Is this normal ?

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