Hens missing feathers from roos, when will it end?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by shortstaque, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. shortstaque

    shortstaque Songster

    Sep 29, 2010
    Bucks County, PA
    I kept 2 roos in with 17 hens over the winter. Come spring the roos gave the hens a run for the money and left them looking pretty shabby, missing feathers on their backs and heads. Once I collected fertile eggs to hatch I sent the roos off to freezer camp. That was 5 or more weeks ago. The trouble is, the hens don't appear to be filling back in with new feathers. I'm just wondering, am I being impatient, or are they picking at each other and pulling out the new feathers as they come in?

    How long will it take for the feathers to grow back in?

    If they are feather pecking:

    How can I catch the culprit?
    They don't do it in front of me. I try to keep an eye out when I'm in the garden adjacent to their enclosed paddock.
    Is there anything I can do to prevent it?
    They have 100 square feet of fresh green pasture per bird, so they have plenty of space. Free choice water, layer ration, oyster shells, and grit. Intermittent treats
    of BOSS, scratch, weeds, and kitchen scraps. 5 nest boxes, lots of roost space. They do make a lot of noise when they are laying. They are mixed breeds.
    There is one hen with feathers picked from the vent area as well, but I thought I had culled the culprit at the same time as the roos.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick 8 Years

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I could be 100% wrong, but I don't think they will grow back in 5 weeks.. maybe not even fully until a molt? I have a saddle on one hen and she's still pretty bare under there and it's been a while. I doubt anyone is feather picking her.
  3. loprettaerin

    loprettaerin Songster

    Jun 17, 2010
    Lonedell, Missouri
    Quote:All I can say is my hens all seem to grow back diffrently. I have saddles know one hen started growning back within a few weeks of it being on another one has yet to show any sings and its been on for close to 2 months. I really think it has to do with the hen and also feed. Better food would also help with regrowth. If you are like me and my husband make some saddles to protect them from the sun and from other hens till they start to grow back.
  4. shortstaque

    shortstaque Songster

    Sep 29, 2010
    Bucks County, PA
    Quote:Do you have a saddle pattern or a link to one?

  5. juliawitt

    juliawitt Songster

    Aug 9, 2009
    I am lazy so I ordered mine. I don't remember from where though. I believe I just googled chicken aprons. I did get a pattern. They look pretty simple to make but to order (at that time) an apron was only 7.00 with a couple of dollars for shipping. I only needed one....I had two roosters and they also went to heaven. I hated how ratty my girls looked. One of my Doms is fat and sassy but her back feathers right above her tail have never grown back right. She has molted twice since hers were pulled out by the roosters. I have a SLW hen that lays like crazy. She is one of the "in charge" chickens. After she molted last time, her fluffy butt feathers never really grew back. I can assure you that no one is pulling her feathers. She is large and in charge. Plenty of layer pellets, calcium and fresh veggies. I don't think it is a nutritional issue but more of an age thing=she is almost 3 years old. She lays beautiful brown eggs which make up for her lack of good disposition.....LOL
  6. xmissjadie

    xmissjadie Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    Eugene, Oregon
    hensaver.com [​IMG]
  7. shortstaque

    shortstaque Songster

    Sep 29, 2010
    Bucks County, PA
    Quote:Thanks, but I have 16 hens who need them and I'm handy with sewing, so I think I'll try to make some. The pictures give me a pretty good idea how to construct them, but maybe I'll look for a pattern online.

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