Missing some back feathers.....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Anna_MN, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Anna_MN

    Anna_MN Chillin' With My Peeps

    332
    1
    99
    Dec 4, 2011
    Princeton, MN
    I recently bought two 1 year old Rhode Island Red and two Gold Star laying hens from a friend. At their previous home, they lived with a very aggressive Rhode Island Red rooster. When he would go to mount the Rhode Island Red hens, he would peck at their backs very hard and eventually their feathers started falling off. This is why I adopted them from her. He pecked at their backs so hard that their skin is BRIGHT red and swollen. He did make them bleed in a couple small spots that are healed now. As far as the Gold Star hens go, he only pecked a few feathers off of their wings. What I was wondering is-

    1.) How long will it take for their feathers to grow back (if at all)?

    2.) Should I be putting something on their bare skin? I live in central Minnesota and it is currently only 11 degrees outside. They live in a coop that is ALWAYS atleast 50 degrees but they like to go in their run when I let them (I only let them outside if it gets to 30 degrees or warmer).

    3.) Since they used to live with an aggressive rooster, would it be a bad idea to get hens from a different place in the spring? Could they be aggressive towards them?

    Thank you!!!
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    8,697
    230
    316
    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello! What you're describing is very common. The feathers will grow back if the entire feather is gone. If there's a little bit of the quill left in there, then they won't grow back until the next molt.

    Since their backs sound irritated, get some Blue Cote spray from the farm store, and spray them with a good coating of that. It will help their backs heal, plus, the bright blue color isn't attractive to chickens, so the other hens will leave their backs alone so they can heal.

    You could also put a hen saddle on their backs to protect their skin, but you don't have to. It would be a good idea though, if you have a rooster.

    I don't know if the hens will be agressive.....time and observance will tell you the answer to that question......

    Take care and good luck with your new hens,

    Sharon
     
  3. Anna_MN

    Anna_MN Chillin' With My Peeps

    332
    1
    99
    Dec 4, 2011
    Princeton, MN
    Thank you so much for your help! I am quite new to this and didn't want anything to happen to them. Even though they were under so much stress at their old home and the ride to my home was a little bumpy- their egg laying habits haven't skipped a beat. I get 4 eggs a day EVERY day! These are tough little girls! [​IMG]
     
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    8,697
    230
    316
    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    You are more than welcome! Sounds like your new hens are earning their keep!

    Sharon
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by