picking-broken feathers, almost bald; protein deficiency?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by imtnt, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. imtnt

    imtnt New Egg

    Dec 2, 2009
    I have 15 8 mo. old hens of a mix of buff orph, arac, new hamp and two roo's, silver phoenix and a buff orph. About 4 weeks ago, I started having a prob with feather picking. They picked the arac until she was seriously bleeding, so she is isolated now. Then, it started w/ the rest, first on the back area. Now, it is moving all up the back, the wings, the back-sides, the necks. I've seen one of the hens pick on another. It's definately picking as the feathers are broken off, not molted, and some bleeding. I've seen them eating feathers throughout the pen. They are in a pen that is appx. 15'x40'. Originally, I thought prot deficiency since I got confused about what the feed store told me to feed them and was giving them more scratch than layer ration in about a 3:1 ratio. I realized the problem, reversed the ratio to 3 x the ration, also bought pheasant feed of 21% prot and been using that. Didn't really have the prob until it got cold and they weren't getting weeds and such thrown in the pen, plus no bugs around. Had been using a red lamp at night when temps were below 10 deg. Plenty of water. Dirt base outside and in coop is solid floor using shavings. Thoughts? I've tried adding a little cat food here and there, but picking seems to be worsening and 2 hens are nearly completely bald except on belly and wings.

    Any help appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Hambone

    Hambone Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2009
    Union, KY
    I can't help you with why it is happening but if you want it to stop immediatly you are going to need pinless peepers. Get them before it gets worse. It will quick. You can buy them from eggcartons.com
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010

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