Polish hair cuts?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by crazylilchick, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. crazylilchick

    crazylilchick Chirping

    Mar 31, 2007
    I don't know if I should post here but here it goes. My polish have such beautiful poofs they can't see. When they come out of the coop into the fenced in yard they can't see the steps to climb back inside again. Sometimes they just don't come out at all. Do any of you have experience with plucking or cutting the feathers around the eyes? I would hate to have to pluck them because they are so sweet and tame I would hate to make them afraid of us. However I will if we have to. Maybe we should get them all some walking sticks, poor babies.
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Ohhh, I wouldnt pluck them...a trim will help tho.
  3. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    I am new to raising Polish, so I cant offer first-hand help, but I have a few ideas for you. Can you find someone around your area that breeds "show" Polish? With all the county and state fairs fast approaching, that shouldn't be too hard. They are a popular breed to show because of their lovely "poofs". Anywho, if you can find someone, maybe you could ask them how they trim them so they can see a little better? Maybe they'd even let you watch while they trim theirs to get ready for a show? Otherwise, it would be just like trimming any other feathers, just the you should put your hand behind any scissors you use so if you 'miss' you stab your own hand, not the chickens eyes. I would use one of those little manicure-type scissors, you know those little tiny ones? And when you trim, make sure you cut the feather as close to the base as possible to ensure a better re-growth later on. Also, make sure you check each feather before you cut to make sure it isnt a blood (new) feather or they'll bleed. New feathers pump blood out like straws with every heartbeat when cut.
  4. verthandi

    verthandi Songster

    May 18, 2007
    I have used a pair of surgical bandage scissors to trim the smaller fluffy feathers just around their eyes.(angled scissors with rounded points) Just make sure to look at the feather shaft first, it should not be dark colored as it will still have blood in it. This type of feather will bleed as it is the new feather just growing in.
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Definitely trim, don't pluck. Besides being really painful, a plucked feather will regrow right away. A trimmed feather won't regrow until it's replaced at it's normal molting time.

    As others have said, look for blood feathers and don't trim those. If you do accidentally cut a blood feather, you can try stopping the blood flow with flour or cornstarch, but may have to pluck that one, if it won't stop bleeding.

    I bet they'll be a lot happier, once they can see better.
  6. peepsnbunnies

    peepsnbunnies Songster

    Mar 31, 2007
    Central Florida
    Good Morning!
    By all means trim! I have a buff laced polish hen and had a real problem with her. She was always thin and sometimes ran into things. She would at times stand in the middle of the yard and just squawk endlessly looking for the rest of the flock and they were close by but behind her where she could not see them. The first time, I plucked a few feathers and it helped a little. But they soon grew back. Then I gave her "hair cut". That helped a LOT ! I trimmed the top of her beard too, right under her eyes, that made a difference too. I put her out in the yard when I finished and she was looking up in trees like she had never seen them before and she was cackling and flapping her wings. She was so funny (Of course Polish chickens area little "different" anyway!). From then on she has gained a lot of weight and I do not have to worry about her anymore. I do hair cuts on her regularly. She also does not get picked on anymore because she is more confident and can see now, she also doesn't lose the flock anymore.
    Good Luck.
  7. jackiedon

    jackiedon Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas
    I have read on the Polish website http://groups.msn.com/PolishChickens for the chickens they show they tie the feathers back like a ponytail with an ouchless ponytail holder. Then the ones they are not going to show they trim them. We bought some ponytail holders to try on the ones we are going to show in the fair this year.

    Also some of the polish chickens will peck on the other ones heads and peck them bald. A lady on the polish website has told me about making a flour/water and cotton ball hats. I bought some chicks from her and she had to make them hats. The hats have worn off and they have a head full of feathers. My daughter and I tried to do makes hats for 2 of mine but I don't think it worked. We'll have to see in the morning.

  8. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    My one polish hen seemed too scared to leave the henhouse a few weeks ago. Her head poof was really big and fluffy, so I tried trimming it with regular kitchen scissors on the theory that she was nervous from not being able to see well. Big success! I trimmed it pretty close to her head all around her eyes to give her a better view of the world. Now she goes outside more often and hangs out with the other hens for longer periods of time. If you trim, it will last for about a year, so go slowly to ensure you don't make any unattractive mistakes. Try not to trim any closer than about a 1/3 of an inch to aid in preventing cutting into a blood feather. If you do cut a blood feather, my advice is to pluck it clean out with needle nosed pliers ASAP.

    She looks almost the same as before, just less "full" around the eyes. I left the top, rear, and back of her poof untouched. It isn't ugly at all.

  9. Sharisr32

    Sharisr32 Egg Killer ;)

    Jan 14, 2007
    OH/PA Boarder
    I take a couple small feathers out by the eyes- I keep my polish kids all together they do not pick on each other - the thing with a radical cut is it can as saoid above end up ugly but can cause new feathers to grow in at goofy angles etc.. take off as little as possible


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