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Pulling out her own tail feathers???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Luclin999, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. Luclin999

    Luclin999 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2009
    Houston, Texas
    My girl Holiday has been doing great but today we noticed that she was missing most of her tail feathers.

    We thought at first that maybe some neighborhood cat had attacked her but after watching her for a bit I saw her start pulling the last few she still had out herself.

    Is this normal?

    Will they grow back?

    Is there something we can do for her to help with whatever is bothering her?
     
  2. kristen2678

    kristen2678 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2009
    North Berwick Maine
    Is she eating them or just pulling them out?
     
  3. Luclin999

    Luclin999 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2009
    Houston, Texas
    Just pulling them out.

    As of this morning she has pulled all of them out now.
     
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Check for parasites of course, but she may be broody. Is she putting them in a nest or carrying them around?
    How is her weight? Does she feel light or is she showing any overt interest when you remove the eggs?
     
  5. foamspoon

    foamspoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2007
    A similar problem. My hen is pulling/losing feather like crazy. Not eatting them carrying or anything. I picked her up she seems to be strong and not skinny. For the most part hangs out with the other hens. Here are some pictures. She is in the coop outside tonight it has been below freeze all day and she seems ok. The roost in the coop together tight so I think she is ok for now or should I bring her inside?

    Thanks,

    Bryan
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  6. Luclin999

    Luclin999 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2009
    Houston, Texas
    She seems fine other than pulling out the feathers. She is losing a few more than usual though in other places.

    Could she simply be molting?
     
  7. foamspoon

    foamspoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2007
    Here is a picture the feather seem to be coming out in clumps.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  8. foamspoon

    foamspoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2007
    She made through the night again ok. But it was fairly cold last night. She got out and eat but did move a little slower than the other birds.

    Bryan
     
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a broody who picks herself like the hen in the pics. I call her Zipfi-barebottom. She obsesses about eggs (we have no roo) but keeps weight on, so I have learned to live with her quirks. Of course I checked her thoroughly for any creep-crawlies and found none. Is your hen laying?

    This is Zipfi hauling herself in to a nest being used by a comrade, trying to hustle her out so she can sprawl over the eggs.

    You can probably see some feather loss if you enlarge the pic.

    I've heard people say that extra protein can inhibit feather-plucking, but I have not bothered because she is otherwise healthy and active. I have put wild bird suet in the coop to encourage feathergrowth and to keep the hens warm. If you have enough bedding to lay it in deeper, you can reduce the air mass needed to keep the coop warmer. Some hens will accept a huddle box but others simply jump into a nest box if chilly. It has been a bitter time.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009

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