Hens feathers aren't growing back

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mcaudell, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. mcaudell

    mcaudell New Egg

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    One of my buff Orphington's started to molt - at least I think that's what was happening -about six months ago. She has still not grown her feathers back. For a while there she was staggering around but that seems to have subsided. She's definitely in pain if you try to pick her up and she likes to stay off by herself for the most part. Can anybody tell me what's going on? We always thought it was just a bad hard molt[​IMG]
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    but she hasn't regrown her feathers. We have four other chickens and they are very healthy and happy.
     
  2. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Do the other chickens pick on her?
     
  3. Yemimah

    Yemimah Out Of The Brooder

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    Please can you give a time line with this? Yes it is stressful when they molt! If you read up on it you can learn more. You have chickens that molt fast and others molt slow. It is genetic how they are one way or the other. Some say it is a thriftiness factor. They don't lay eggs during the main part of the milky but I have seen a molting bird lay an egg with my own eyes.She looks typical of a molting bird. They get a kind of psyche with it... like... I think everyone thinks I am ugly...also they are a little bit cold without all their suit of feathers! So they tend to huddle a bit.I have had hens that went a long...... time molting . As long as everything else is normal it takes time. Make sure she has a good healthy diet all the way through.
     
  4. mcaudell

    mcaudell New Egg

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    I have not seen the others peck on her except an occasional peck here and there. I don't know an exact timeline but this is been a process for probably six months. It seems like her feathers have grown back somewhat but they just haven't fully come in. Maybe it just takes a really long time? Everything I've read makes it sound like it's just a molt but it's just taking forever -at least since last summer. Thanks for replying! I feel horrible for her.
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    What type of food/treats do you feed?
    Are you seeing pin feathers - you mention that she is in pain if you pick her up - is this because feathers are coming in (she's like a porcupine?)


    Offer her some poultry vitamins like Poultry Nutri-Drench or Rooster Booster Poultry Cell. Give her extra protein either through commercial feed (18-20% protein) like chick starter, all flock/flock raiser feeds. If you don't have those, give some chopped egg, tuna, mackerel or meat (beef, beef liver, chicken, etc.) in addition to her normal feed.

    For treats, offer some leafy green veggies/greens, a little fruit and a very small amount of Black Oil Sunflower seed.

    6months is a long time to molt, so she is having a hard time - see if adjusting her nutrition will help. I had one that seemed to take forever to feather in, it was obvious she felt terrible, but she looks beautiful now. Just give yours some TLC and a little more time.
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old is she?

    I would be concerned if she was mine. You could try giving her some high protein treats (scrambled egg, fish, mealworms, meat and/or cat food) as feather growth requires protein and I would give her a good poultry vitamin supplement. Check her over for body condition ...keel bone should be apparent but not sharp. Has she ever laid eggs?
     
  7. mcaudell

    mcaudell New Egg

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    I have tried giving her treats separately but she won't eat unless she sees the others eat first. We did switch to a feather feed with a little bit more protein. I often give all of the chickens fresh greens and extra protein but often she doesn't come and eat it. She's very timid and tends to stay by herself. Everything about it seems like a molt but she just isn't getting her feathers. I'm just concerned it was something else I wasn't familiar with since I'm fairly new at this. They will be two next month. Thanks for all your advice. I feel horrible for her.
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Does she have a buddy - another BO perhaps?


    You may find that if you confine her to a cage or wire dog kennel in the run, she will eat and drink by herself. If not add a buddy - another chicken that she gets along with (maybe another BO).
    When molting they do not feel well, a lower pecking order hen will be even more standoffish - I suspect she is not drinking or eating like she should. Normally they don't eat quite as much when molting anyway, but is she is normally timid, this will make it worse.

    You can give the vitamins and extra protein - egg, tuna, etc. to the whole flock if you want. There's nothing that would hurt and it may be beneficial. You can also give her a direct dose of Poultry Nutri-Drench if you feel like she needs it (1cc per 3lbs). 2 of my girls that just seemed pitiful, I direct dosed them about every other day - this seemed to help with their appetite as well.
    Carefully handle her, it is painful when they are molting - so if it seem too painful then give everyone the vitamins and protein.

    Keep us posted.
     
  9. mcaudell

    mcaudell New Egg

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    This is super helpful information! I have thought about separating her to see if she starts getting better a little quicker. So it seems like everyone thinks she is just melting. That makes me feel a lot better. I was worried there something internally wrong with her or some type of parasite. Hopefully those feather start coming in soon! Thanks again for all the information.
     
  10. Cookie666

    Cookie666 Out Of The Brooder

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    Diatomaceous Earth is food for the feathers. Mix it in with her food or mix with water and syringe it down her throat.
     

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