Molting or Protein Deficiency?

4hooves&featheredfriends

Songster
11 Years
Jan 5, 2009
453
0
129
New Hampshire
I have a mix of 17 hens - GLW, SLW, BR, BO, BA's Leghorns and EE's that have been doing terrible feather picking for about 3 weeks. One of my BA's has a bald bottom and back. The SLW and GLW's are ruthless with cornering and pecking the bottom fluff feathers.

All are laying with the exception of my EE, that seems to be in a slump - she hasn't laid an egg for almost a month. She is also one that gets picked on.

I have changed their mash to Blue Seal Layer Crumbles, have added black oil sunflower seeds, dry cat food and wet cat food to increase their protein level.

How long does it usually take to recover from a deficiency like this?

It is starting to get cold and my BA is bald
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Is there anything else I can do?

Does this also have to do with doing a mixed flock?

I would love to hear from all you chicken lovers.
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
348
341
Ontario, Canada
Honestly if it's been weeks despite protein supplementation, and is bad, I would be seriously considering making soup out of the offenders, before anyone else picks up the habit
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Or you could try separating them for a few weeks or months then reintroducing them, after the victims have healed and started growing back feathers and with the pickers possibly being lower on the totem pole after their absence.

Is it possible that they are also bored? How much room do they have, and how mcuh do they have to *do* during the day in their run?

Good luck,

Pat
 

4hooves&featheredfriends

Songster
11 Years
Jan 5, 2009
453
0
129
New Hampshire
They have a run that is 20 x 20 and a coop that is 16x10. They are offered fresh water daily, laying mash, oysters shells and greens daily. We also started offering some suet, sunflower seeds and cat kibble - alternating as a treat.

Good idea on the separation to knock those Wyandottes down a few pegs. Thanks for the suggestions.
 

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