Raggedy hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rachelbarnes4, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. rachelbarnes4

    rachelbarnes4 New Egg

    Jan 17, 2011
    Hello there! I'm a first flock chicken lover in southwest Texas. I adore my 9 chickens but am somewhat concerned that one of them hasn't completed her molt yet... she looks awful and the feathers she has are all raggedy. All of the other chickens have grown out beautiful shiny feathers. She is a Barred Rock, I have two others that are fine. I think she's been like this for at least 2 months. I've been feeding them a few handfuls of cat food but her condition hasn't changed. I'm worried about her and hope y'all can help. I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks and I hope I can help someone someday!
  2. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    She could be getting picked on, thats a very common cause of ragged feathers. Check her very carefully for mites or lice, they are also a BIG cause of ragged feathers.

    Cat food is a very controversial subject... I am not going to tell you what to do, but for me, I had 3 really, very ragged hens (no mites) who were getting picked on, but once they were seperated from the general population, and started eating ALOT of dry catfood, they got better VERY fast and had nicer feathers than anyone else in the flock(and they are my oldest hens).

    Now, I dont know if it was the cat food, the seperation, or both, but I was glad to see the improvment. I never feed catfood to my flock though (not on purpose, that is!) but they do sometimes find the cat feeder and snatch some. I have to keep moving it so they dont eat it all. I've heard its actually pretty bad for them since it has chemicals in it that are super bad for them. IDK because some people feed it all the time....

    I hope your hen gets better soon, who knows, maybe she's a slow molter and just needs more time. But I would really check her for mites and consider seperating her for awhile just to be sure it isnt a bullying problem.

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