How to quickly get feathers to grow back?

Nicole01

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
5,492
95
268
MN
Over the winter I had 1-2 chickens develop a nasty feather picking habit. They had 160 square feet of access all winter long for 8 hens. 7 standard and 1 bantam, clearly enough room. I'm making changes for next winter in hopes of this behavior quits, especially adding more roosts, places to jump or fly up to. Since the snow melted in March, I've slowly let them out and now since May they free range from morning until night.

They are still feather picking, so I made a saddle for the lowest hen, I need to revise it to cover her wing bows, she's a frizzle, so her feathers are different then the rest. She still is a great layer for a Cochin, I get lots of eggs from her.

Right now I am trying the Vasoline trick. I caked on the Vasoline to the lowest hen in hopes of the others quick picking on her. She normally keeps her distance and crouches when walking near the group.

I've put her on poly vi sol vitamins, probios and I'm hard boiling eggs for her and the rest of the group daily. Her feathers are not coming in strong under the saddle. Some fall out easily. I'm wondering if this is a genetic thing or due to stress. I do not want to rehome her or the feather pickers(1-2 hens).

I was thinking of putting the feather pickers in a dog kennel at night for a week or two. If this doesn't work, I'll have to bring the feather pickers in the house during the day and put them in the coop at night. I've jailed the bully before and she was noisy. The jailing worked until winter.

What else can I do or give to speed up the feather growth? It's a nasty habit, but my hens are so dang sweet towards us. I don't want any hen picked on if possible. Thanks
 

howfunkyisurchicken

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 11, 2011
9,281
798
351
Tn
You could try those pinless peepers, the ones that block their eyesight. How about feeding them a gamebird feed? The one I use is either 24 or 26% protein, and protein is needed for feather growth. Good luck!
 

Nicole01

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
5,492
95
268
MN
Thank you for the suggestions! I really appreciate it! :). I'll definitely look into the blinders. I knew they had them for young pheasants, but I didn't think chickens.
 

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