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How to stop feathers from breaking?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by tannero, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. tannero

    tannero Hatching

    Oct 20, 2014
    Anybody out there know how to stop feathers on chickens from breaking.

  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to byc! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    What do you mean by feathers breaking? This time of year is when chickens molt or lose their feathers. Although this is a natural cycle you can still help it by giving your chickens lots of protein. Mealworms, oatmeal, peas and quinoa are all good protein foods.

    Chickens can break wing feathers by falling off of roosts and such. There is really no way to stop this.

    Hope this helps!
    1 person likes this.
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    If you would post a photo it would help us - help you. Maybe you are seeing "pin feathers," growing in where others have molted or been pecked off.
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Depending on what the problem/cause is a Feather Fixer (link) feed may help, also a little Apple Cider Vinegar in their drink water for a few days now and then (I use a ratio of 4-5 tablespoons to a gallon water) will help improve feather quality. If it's just molting they may benefit from a little extra protein in their diet. Give them treats such as cooked eggs, mealworms (they will love you forever [​IMG]), meat scraps etc. Here is a good thread on molting:


    The damage may also be due to mites/lice. Examine them thoroughly, under their wings, around their vents, etc for signs of freeloaders. A good dusting with poultry dust such as Permethrin or Sevin dust will take care of that problem quickly.

    If the problem is due to pecking the reason could be that the flock is overcrowded or bored, or just being bullies. If they pull and eat each others' feathers they need more protein in their diet. A flock block (link) will help amuse them, or a cabbage hung in the run. Also make sure you have plenty space for them to run around in (ideally 10 sf ft per chicken in the run and 4 sq ft in the coop). If they are bullying and pecking each other in spite of that, you should maybe look into getting the culprits some Pinless Peeper/Poultry Blinders (link).

    I think that covered all the possibilities? lol Good luck with them!
  6. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    Sumi's given some excellent advice!

    When my birds molt, I usually switch them to a higher protein game bird grower feed. This helps the feathers grow in. You can also supplement with hard boiled or scrambled eggs or mealworms for extra protein. Sunflower seeds may improve feather condition as well.
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    You have been given some great advice on molting. Feathers get old and birds will replace them each year. If the feathers are growing in weak or the bird is over grooming them and they are breaking, this bird may have a health issue. Give the bird an over all exam for anything that might be lowering the immunity. You might get this bird on some probiotics to help boost the immune system.

    Good luck and I hope you can solve this mystery!

  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    You've received some great advice already.
  9. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
  10. Frindizzle

    Frindizzle Guitar Girl <3 Premium Member


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