Molting chicken's feathers plucked

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MistyDF, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. MistyDF

    MistyDF In the Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2018
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    Hey Everyone!
    I have a RIR going thru her first molt and it was a hard one. She was mainly new feathers coming in and they were probably little over 1/2 in. I went out this morning and the other 4 girls had plucked almost all of them out!

    It is cold here in Indiana now so I just put an apron on her (there is not much to her so idk if it will stay on well).

    My concern is will her feathers regrow since she was in the middle of a molt? I am not sure what to do to help her, especially going into winter.

    I do have the others in the outer pen currently to give her a safe place in the run and coop but they cannot stay separated this way.

    RIR 18m old
    has sweaterheater in the coop for warmth
    placed an apron on her
    Indiana weather is down in the teens this week
    flock total 5 hens
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

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    Do you have photos?

    If they plucked the feathers completely out, those will eventually be replaced during molt.
    From what I understand those new feathers coming in can be tasty. What type of food/treats do you feed? Increasing protein for everyone may help.

    You might end up needing to separate her so she is not continuously plucked. A cage inside the coop would work well.
     
    ChickNanny13 likes this.
  3. MistyDF

    MistyDF In the Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2018
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    Thanks for the reply! They did pluck them completely out. I can get a pic tomorrow.. I don't want to stress her any more tonight.

    Luckily I ran into a lady at the feed store that offered advise.

    To answer your question on current feed:
    I am feeding them a high protein feather builder feed because everyone had started molting at the same time a few weeks back, except this girl who decided to go broody. So she didn't start until about two weeks ago. They also get some freerang time when I can allow for that plus a large flock block and treats (yogurt/greens/oatmeal)

    I am keeping her on the feather builder feed and I have added the following into the meal plan for the next couple weeks:
    mealworms
    flock block with sunflower seed
    scrambled eggs
    yogurt
    electrolytes
    apple cider vinegar

    I have seperated her and she is in the garage where it is warmer. Hoping a couple weeks will allow her to gain some weight as well as regrow feathers.

    I welcome any suggestions!
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    Sadly you will probably have to keep her separated until she has regrown her feathers and then deal with reintegration. Another option is affixing Pin Less Peepers on the other hens and then removing them once she has regrown her feathers. It is almost guaranteed that they will continue to feather pick her.
     
    ChickNanny13 and Wyorp Rock like this.
  5. MistyDF

    MistyDF In the Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2018
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I had to use the peepers once last year... they are so stressful to put on and take off I hope I do not have to put us all through that again.

    Fingers crossed I can help get her feathered out again and we will be ok. If they would have just let her be one more week we would have been good but chickens can be jerks!

    I am not looking forward to reintegrating her. None of this is fun and especially not in the winter :-(
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

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    Sounds like you got it covered!
    I hope it all works out for you:)
     
    MistyDF likes this.
  7. MistyDF

    MistyDF In the Brooder

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    I was wondering if she will get lonely. How can I help with that? Would a mirror give her any comfort?
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

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    Do you have room to keep her separated inside the coop and/or run?
    A large dog kennel works well for this.
     
    aart and ChickNanny13 like this.
  9. MistyDF

    MistyDF In the Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2018
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    There is no way to put it in the coop w/o blocking nesting boxes or the entrance.
    If I just put it in the run then she would be exposed to the cold weather and wind. So I am thinking these are not n option.
     
  10. Soon2BChixMom

    Soon2BChixMom Herding ducks and Wrangling chickens

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    What about a dog crate with the plastic sides? I currently have one in my run and have an injured pullet in it. I put her on the roost in the evening after the roost rumbles are done.
    I took a plastic bag and covered the holes on the side to keep rain and snow out. I attached it with zip ties.
     

    Attached Files:

    aart likes this.

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