Molting - picked up my chicken, is this really terrible????

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Pip4Chirp, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. Pip4Chirp

    Pip4Chirp Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2014
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    My hen Gladys is molting and has many pin feathers. Tonight she and the other two hens decided to sleep on the roof of the chicken coop. I carefully scooped two of the hens into the coop and then tried to gently pick up Gladys. She is very nervous when she molts and struggled. After reading an article on Backyard Chickens on molting, I am so afraid I damaged her feathers by touching her pin feathers. Will they grow in ok? When will I know?

    I told the kids we should just leave them alone!!!!! They were too afraid of predators and I didn't know I shouldn't touch her pin feathers.
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Pin feathers will generally bleed a lot if they are damaged. If you didn't notice any blood, they are most likely all intact. Even if any were damaged, I wouldn't call it a huge issue. However you are correct that handling should be avoided when a lot of pin feathers are growing in - the birds are far more sensitive than usual, as they can feel any contact made with their pin feathers.
     
  3. Pip4Chirp

    Pip4Chirp Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2014
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    I'll check tomorrow - I only held her for a minute and there was no blood on my hands so hopefully she's ok. Thank you so much for letting me know. I'll sleep better. :)

    If any are broken, do you just use Vetericyn or similar to guard against infection?

    Thanks again!!!!
     
  4. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    I wouldn't even worry about applying anything, unless there is a lot of highly visible blood, in which case you should use some Pick-No-More or a similar anti-pick lotion to prevent any cannibalism.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They are rather uncomfortable when those pins start growing in, might rest a lot and even isolate themselves.
    Handling them at that time should be avoided but it won't really hurt anything.
    Just give them lots of protein to help grow those feathers out faster.

    If a pin feather breaks and bleeds...and continues bleeding and will not stop, it needs to be completely plucked out.
    I had to use a hemostat to grab a feather and pluck it out.
    Had a cockerel with a broken tail pin feather, tried to cauterize using corn starch, but it was bleeding bad so I plucked it out and it stopped immediately.
    If plucked, a new feather will grow right back.
     
  6. Pip4Chirp

    Pip4Chirp Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much! I'm crossing my fingers that no pin feathers broke. It's amazing how much layer feed she's eating now! And her pin feathers are blue - so pretty!
     
  7. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The reason she's eating more is it takes a lot of protein to grow feathers. Like aart said I to give extra protein while their molting. Upping the protein level to 18% minimum but 20% would be better will help her to regrow feathers faster.
     
  8. Pip4Chirp

    Pip4Chirp Out Of The Brooder

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    The hens are getting 20% protein and I'm curtailing their veggies, other than letting them roam around the yard for a couple hours. Is it ok to leave the feathers in the run/coop?
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Quote:
    Your layer feed has 20% protein....what brand?

    Feathers in the coop/run are fine.
     
  10. Pip4Chirp

    Pip4Chirp Out Of The Brooder

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    My girls get Ranch-Way Organic Easy Feed Layer Feed 20%. I used to give them a lesser protein percentages but my Wyandottes yellow legs were turning pale which apparently is a sign of low protein so I upped to 20% and they seem healthier.

    And it looks like Gladys has no visible damage to her pin feathers from my picking her up last night. Yay!!!
     

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