My poor polish chicken's head...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ryan9923, May 26, 2010.

  1. ryan9923

    ryan9923 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    22
    May 26, 2010
    I'm very new to the world of chickens. Actually, it's my wife that started getting us into it. We have 11 hens right now, and 3 of them are Polish chickens with big puffy crested heads. They're very cute. Only we noticed that the smallest of the Polish chicks is bald in the middle of her head! we thought maybe she got into a little fight and lost a bigh bunch of feathers and that they would grow back. They grew back partially, looked like little twigs sticking out of her head, then today we noticed they were all gone again. Her head seemed puffy and a tad bloody in the areas where the stems of the feathers were yanked out. Is this from fighting? What should we do?
     
  2. chickensnax

    chickensnax Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    22
    Nov 24, 2009
    south Texas
    Yes in my opinion some other hen is a feather picker and is pulling out her crest feathers before they can fully refeather.
    If you leave the one hen in with all the others you can run into some big problems with your flock, because sometimes
    feather picking can lead into canabilism. The best bet is to either seperate the hen with the picked head,untill the feathers
    fully come back. Or you can use one of many substances that will deter the other chickens from continued feather picking.
    The feed stores sell anti-pick and other ointments and lotions for this use, some have used blue-kote sprays also available from
    feed stores as well. All these type of products till stain yourself and your clothing. Others from BYC have mentioned using
    the grape cool-aid powder mixed with ointment and that chickens don't like the artificial grape flavoring. The twig stage
    mentioned is normal for the return of feathers the fluffy part of the feather will emerge from the center of the twig and
    will continue to grow to a normal feather, but it can take a few weeks for the process to come full circle.

    But please keep reading there is a wealth of information on this forum and can answer about any question that you'll come across.

    I just started last year this time and I try to read what ever I can, and have learned alot from this site.

    and good luck.
     
  3. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    I agree with everything above and want to add, that you need to figure out which one is doing the feather picking and remove her for a while. If you remove your polish until her feathers grow back, your feather picker will find someone else to pick on, most likely another Polish, since they have the big poofy heads. Also be aware that removing the picker may not get her to stop doing it. I had that problem and even with removal and reintroduction, she was still picking feathers.



    And, what kind of food are they on? Feather picking is usually a sign of not enough protein in their diet and since feathers are so high in protein, they eat them. Plus, your Polish will need high protein feed so that she can grow her feathers back.


    Good luck!



    ETA: [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
  4. ryan9923

    ryan9923 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    22
    May 26, 2010
    right now they're still eatting medicated chick food. They a few months old. They're really just to the point where they are starting to look like real chickens with fully feathered bodies. The Polish Chickens are smaller in size than the other girls. I suppose it wouldn't hurt adding in some protein. any suggestions on what's the best/easiest stuff to give them?
     
  5. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    I have the very same issue - except they are older. My polish are almost completely blind because of the head full of feathers. The older hens pick at all of the chicks - except the rest of them can see the hens coming & get out of the way quick. The polish just stand there & stare at their feet until they get blasted.

    Yesterday I built a small second coop & moved them (the polish) out to the garden. No point in keeping them together as they will continue to get picked on.

    They look awful.
     
  6. Neilette

    Neilette Chillin' With My Peeps

    131
    0
    109
    Apr 18, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    Quote:Bugs! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by