Should I trim the tail feathers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TimAndAndrae, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. TimAndAndrae

    TimAndAndrae Out Of The Brooder

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    Last week, our 12 week old girls ganged up on one of their own and picked and pulled out most of the tail feathers of one of their sisters. I separated the picked on one and she seems to be doing well. I also increased the space the other 12 have to relieve what might have been overcrowding.

    The injured girl seems to be wanting to join her sisters again but I'm a little concerned that she maybe picked on again due to the looks of the few tattered tail feathers she still has. This is our first flock so I'm unsure if I should trim back her affected feathers. Will her feathers grow back before she molts or will she be funny looking for the better part of a year? Any other suggestions?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    If there are still broken feathers, you'll need to pull them in order to cause new feather growth. Otherwise, they'll come out when she molts. Trimming them will result in the same, having to wait for a molt for new growth.
     
  3. TimAndAndrae

    TimAndAndrae Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. Any idea how long new feathers will take to grow in after the bad ones are pulled?
     
  4. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    They will not appear over night, but the new growth will be slow and steady. Feeding her a high protein diet will help her heal and grow feathers.
     
  5. TimAndAndrae

    TimAndAndrae Out Of The Brooder

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    A different diet for her means keeping her in her own pen for a little while longer. She wants to join her sisters so bad. She tells us about it ever time we walk in to the coop.
     
  6. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Feeding the whole flock a little higher protein diet may help keeping the pecking problem under control.
     
  7. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my roosters molted all his tail feathers several months ago and the hens kept picking at the emerging casings so bad that I had to put him in a pen by himself for about 6 weeks until his tail feathers grew back and shed their casings.
     
  8. TimAndAndrae

    TimAndAndrae Out Of The Brooder

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    We had her out in the run for a short time this afternoon and several of her sisters wanted to peck at her scabs. She was put back in her own pen. Weather permitting, tomorrow I'll let her out for a while before the others are allowed out.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    How many birds?
    What ages?
    How big is coop(feet by feet)?

    Might be able to use some blukote on scabs to deter pecking..sometimes that helps.
    If space is the issue, hard to cure that without adding more space.


    I like to feed a 'flock raiser' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and all molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    The higher protein crumble offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer.
     
  10. TimAndAndrae

    TimAndAndrae Out Of The Brooder

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    Right now there are ten in an area about 4 by 6. They're about 16 weeks old. The injured girl is in a 2 by 4 space adjoining the others. The main flock now has a second floor where their roosts are as well as a 12 by 24 run they didn't have when the pecking happened. So I have increased the space they have.

    They are getting 18% on their feed and I am giving the injured one some dry cat food to boost her protein intake.
     

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