Molting chicken's emerging pin feather started others pecking at her.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Vickery, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. Vickery

    Vickery Chirping

    Feb 3, 2013
    Carson City, NV
    My 20 month old hens are all pretty much molting (some harder than others). One of them had a pin feather which had a little blood on it which now has resulted in a worse situation as the the others of course are pecking at the spot. It was moderately bloody today. Should I separate her, salve it, cover it...??? Is it normal for a pin feather to have a little blood on it when it emerges sometimes?
    This is their first real molt and my first batch of chickens! Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
  2. krista74

    krista74 Songster

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    For now I would separate her so that she is safe.

    If the pin feathers are in an area that could be protected by a hen apron ('chicken saddle') I would go online and buy a few of those. That could potentially give her enough protection that she can return the flock.

    All of my girls wear them day in day out, mostly for protection against the rooster's treading. I have found them to be fantastic, as they allow time for the feathers to regrow.

    - Krista
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Not unusual for them to bleed a bit if pecked or bumped against something hard.

    You could separate her, but then putting her back might cause worse problems.
    Would be best to separate her temporarily within the coop behind wire (wire dog crate?) so they can't touch her but everyone can still see each other...maybe just for a few hours or the day then let her roost at night.

    A saddle might be uncomfortable over the pin feathers, they are sensitive...and if they are not used to them could just cause more stress.

    At least get a hold of her and try to clean the blood off, sometimes the pin feather can continue to bleed copiously and the feather needs to be plucked straight out to stop the bleeding...had that happen with a cockerel this summer. Pulled the feather out with some sturdy hemostats with a good serrated gripper nose.

    Just keep a close eye on it...sometimes other birds will continue to pick then separation is almost mandatory...sometimes it's of short interest.

    I've tried using blue coat, sometimes that helps but sometimes that too attracts attention and I've also had the bird itself didn't like it and tried to preen it off themselves making the situation worse.
  4. Vickery

    Vickery Chirping

    Feb 3, 2013
    Carson City, NV
    Thanks for the replies...both good advice! We have an adjoining dog kennel that's getting prepped for a new batch of chicks (i.e.. good enough for fully mature hens right now for predator protection) that I will move her too in the daytime til she's not bleeding. I hope I don't have to pull out a feather...she's already in pain...when I picked her up yesterday to try to cover the spot she squaucked like I was killing her! The feathers seem to be coming in fast so hopefully it will be short lived! Again...Thanks.
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Crowing

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    X2. I agree with the above statement. You could try boosting feed up to a 18-20% protein level temporarily while birds are in moult too. A-Lyte is a simple livestock solution, which contains amino acids and B vitamins, can be added at 1 tablespoon per gallon of water 2x a week. A profile of poultry vitamins containing A,D, E make a difference also.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014

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