Need advice for helping out hens with bad feathers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rascal66, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. rascal66

    rascal66 Songster

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    Hello!

    So about 2 months ago, had a guy who needed to re home 70 hens asap. We gladly took them in, and needless to say, the poor hens didn't have a ton of space in their last home, which resulted in feather pickers.

    So today I want to focus on how to go about getting these hens feathers back in top shape? Without relying on a molt, of course.

    Some came with mites, but I've been dusting them well and mites seem gone for now. A lot have pecked up messy feathers. One or two with sun burned rears..

    Now, everyone is being free ranged and has full acess to food and water. They are laying pretty well too. They seem good over all now. But many of them still have such a rough look. I'd like to help them get back to their prime. They are under a year old, so the owner claimed.

    Any advice? If you take a good look at some of the black or all white hens, those are the new ones. 20190816_180352.jpg
    20190816_181238.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Great Horny Toads

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    Feathers will generally grow back in the fall whether they do a full molt or not. Generally I see feathers grow in anywhere from now until November.
     
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  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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  4. rascal66

    rascal66 Songster

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    Fair enough :) thanks! Just wanted to see if there was any other way to help.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Great Horny Toads

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    I recommend a ration with 18-20% protein so they have what they need to grow them back. An all flock or non medicated starter grower will work with a separate bowl of oyster shells for the calcium needs.
     
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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    What did you dust them with?

    :eek:
    That's a lot of birds!!!
    How many did you already have?
    You must have a BIG coop!
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    If the entire feather is gone, it should start growing back pretty soon. If a bit of the feather shaft is left, don't expect that feather to grow back until the next molt no matter what you feed them. With feather picking it could be both but I'd expect quite a few to grow back soon. Good luck with that.

    One trick to getting the feathers looking nicer is to give them some BOSS as a treat. Boss is fairly high in protein but what really helps the feathers is the oil. Black Oil Sunflower Seeds have quite a bit of oil in them as you'd expect from the name. It doesn't take much but that oil can make a real difference in how the feathers look.
     
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  8. rascal66

    rascal66 Songster

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    I dust with a can of Permethrin 'poultry/garden dust and it does well with killing the lice. Not the eggs, but that's why i do the treatment a couple times. If they had a heavy egg load on a shaft, id just pluck and throw it away. The hens didnt really have that much ti begin with. They seem clear for now!

    Originally we had about 20ish hens, but we have the space so we were happy to take them in for now. We sell the eggs so we don't really spend much in feed at all thankfully!
     
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  9. rascal66

    rascal66 Songster

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    I'll definitely keep this in mind next time I'm at the store :) thank you!
     

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