Sumo Chickens? and other issues

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kesrchicky16, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. kesrchicky16

    kesrchicky16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a couple questions. One belongs in this thread and I am not sure where to put the other so I'll just combine them here.

    We have no rooster. Are up to 17 hens now. Some of the chickens take on this sumo like stance when I'm trying to "herd" them. They drop their bum, keep their wing tips tucked tight, and spread their "upper arms" to look wider at the top. They seriously look like a sumo wrestler at the start of their fight. They are nearly impossible to move at that point short of picking them up and putting them where I want them. That is ridiculously easy and most of my girls don't like being handled. If I were a predator I would eat well. What are they doing and why? Or is it just contagious insanity?

    Next question and I will post pics. (It would be easier if I could figure out how to make a new post from my phone.)
    When we were given out second group of chickens they had naked spots on their wings. I'm wondering if their old owners clipped their flight feathers. Should I be concerned that the skin is so exposed? If so what should I do? I figured that if they needed new feathers they would just grow them. I think I have a couple going through spring molt and so I now understand they can't grow new feathers until they loose the old shaft.

    Bonus question what can I do to help my poor ugly chickens (pics to follow) through this spring molt? We feed 20% layer pellets (appx 7 lbs), and about 2-3 lbs of scratch, corn, or some other type of treat (sometimes I feel generous and they get lettuce). They now have free access to Pigeon grit and will have oyster shells shortly. They also get to free range for 6+ hours a day. They could range more if they didn't hide eggs, silly birds. Pretty sure I'm over feeding because there are pellets and grain left when I close their run back up at night.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  2. kesrchicky16

    kesrchicky16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    One of the possible clipped wing chickens.
     
  3. kesrchicky16

    kesrchicky16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    My poor ugly chicken. Her tail was lost when we got her because she was attacked by a dog. But her neck looking like someone tried to ring it is new in the last week or so.
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    To try and help, where I can

    We have no rooster. Are up to 17 hens now. Some of the chickens take on this sumo like stance when I'm trying to "herd" them. They drop their bum, keep their wing tips tucked tight, and spread their "upper arms" to look wider at the top. They seriously look like a sumo wrestler at the start of their fight. They are nearly impossible to move at that point short of picking them up and putting them where I want them. That is ridiculously easy and most of my girls don't like being handled. If I were a predator I would eat well. What are they doing and why? Or is it just contagious insanity? They are submissively squatting for you, which is common in the absence of a rooster.

    Next question and I will post pics. (It would be easier if I could figure out how to make a new post from my phone.)
    When we were given out second group of chickens they had naked spots on their wings. I'm wondering if their old owners clipped their flight feathers. Should I be concerned that the skin is so exposed? If so what should I do? I figured that if they needed new feathers they would just grow them. I think I have a couple going through spring molt and so I now understand they can't grow new feathers until they loose the old shaft. Not sure, but it could be feather loss from mating, but certainly not related to wing clipping. You may wish to check for mites / lice.


    Bonus question what can I do to help my poor ugly chickens (pics to follow) through this spring molt? We feed 20% layer pellets (appx 7 lbs), and about 2-3 lbs of scratch, corn, or some other type of treat (sometimes I feel generous and they get lettuce). They now have free access to Pigeon grit and will have oyster shells shortly. They also get to free range for 6+ hours a day. They could range more if they didn't hide eggs, silly birds. Pretty sure I'm over feeding because there are pellets and grain left when I close their run back up at night. As soon as you get your oyster shell, change from layers to high percentage protein growers or starter feed (20% protein would be good) and cut back on the scratch. Scratch and treats should ideally constitute no more than 10% of daily food intake.


    I'm sure others will be along to help out further.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  5. kesrchicky16

    kesrchicky16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What would be the benefits of growers and starters formula over 20% layers?

    Also to my knowledge the white chickens (I assume Plymouth Rocks) were not around a rooster. We got 5 of the 7 bird flock. 1 couldn't be caught to be rehomed and the other person only wanted 1 more hen. (She was pretty though)
     
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I misunderstood the 20% layers bit - that's fine.

    Whilst hens can use mounting to assert dominance, I'm not sure to what extent that would result in feather loss - maybe others will help on that one. I'd focus more on it being a health issue.
     
  7. kesrchicky16

    kesrchicky16 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is that when they sit on each other? I've not seen those chickens do that but there is only 3 of the 5 that have those spots and I had seen our original flock do that a few times but never saw feather loss. It just looked like they were sitting on an over grown chick.
    Sorry for seeming dense. I only got chickens last October. I feel confident about my flock merging skills though! Successfully added mature flocks twice now.
     
  8. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Similarly, I've observed dominance mounting in my flock, but it has never resulted in any feather loss (it happened just after I got rid of my cock bird, but stopped after a couple of days). Let's hope others can add further insights.

    You are not "seeming dense" - those people are the ones that don't ask questions [​IMG]
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    CTKen's covered about everything...will just add:

    20% layer is good,
    (the other foods you are giving is diluting that 20 down to about 17, assuming 3lbs of 10% scratch),
    IF they are laying.
    If not laying, they don't need the extra calcium.
    If molting they need more protein.

    Maybe I missed it, but how old are these birds?
    Knowing your location always helps, put it in your profile so we always know at a glance.

    Bug check always a good idea when adding adult birds, and regularly in general.
    Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.
    Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).
    Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.
    Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

    If you do find some...check out this thread:https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1134783/permethrin-spray

    P.S. 'Sumo Chickens' cracked me up, great analogy!
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017

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