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Lost feathers due to plucking

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sarah orr, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. sarah orr

    sarah orr Just Hatched

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    Jun 9, 2016
    Water, my beautiful polish, is no longer so beautiful. My chickens have literally plucked every single feather out of her head. I'm worried her head is going to get cold and she's going to get sick. Also it must hurt when they do this. I understand that they have established a pecking order, but how do I help her? They are almost a year old. They have all been together since they were 2 days old and raised together. They are all different breeds. I was thinking I would need to give her, her own space in the coop. We have a really large coop, so that wouldn't be a problem. I would put in another chicken door and section off a portion of the run for her. Would this only solve the problem temporarily? Would I ever be able to reintroduce her back into the flock if I did this? If she did have her own section in the coop, all the other birds would still be able to see her, because there are wire doors. I would also put the other polish in with her. She is also losing head feathers (due to mean birds plucking), but not at such an alarming rate. What do you all suggest I do? This is her with all her head feathers. She literally does not have one feather on her head now.
    Thanks!


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    The others aren't being mean. There isn't a protein deficiency problem. It has nothing to do with the pecking order.

    It has everything to do with being born beautiful with a crest of feathers the others do not have. In other words, your Polish is being plucked bald because she's Polish and she's a minority and she's different.

    Chickens focus on the different thing among them. So many people with Polish have this problem because they decided to get just one or two because of the novelty. But the Polish end up being the focus of attention and end up losing their tops.

    The solution is to do as you were thinking. Establish separate quarters for your Polish. You should also get some more. I'm giving you permission to cave into chicken math. The more Polish there are, the less novel they will be to the flock, and the less likely they will be to being singled out and plucked.
     
  3. sarah orr

    sarah orr Just Hatched

    16
    0
    14
    Jun 9, 2016
    Ok! More polish it is. I have 17 chickens, 2 of which are polish. How many more should I consider getting and is it better to get ones of the same age or younger and keep them separate till they mature? I'd be jealous if I were the other chickens too. She and the other one are gorgeous!
     
  4. sarah orr

    sarah orr Just Hatched

    16
    0
    14
    Jun 9, 2016
    I'll keep them separate for now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,501
    2,438
    411
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It's hard to know what the magic number is when you're trying to diffuse a novel attraction. I would try at least four more. It sounds like your facilities will handle them okay. Just think of all the beauty in numbers!

    I always recommend chicks to expand a flock. It's much easier to integrate them when they are babies because they're less threatening to the big chickens. Your two Polish will be outnumbered, so they should be fairly quick to accept the chicks. It's much easier when the chicks are raised in proximity to the adults since they all get used to one another from day one.

    In the meantime, you can read up on how to integrate chicks with adults. Start with my article on outdoor brooding. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...rooder-and-start-raising-your-chicks-outdoors
     

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