This could be a silly question but....I'm going to ask anyway


10 Years
Jul 14, 2009
Stark County, NE Ohio
I have a two year old sex link roo, I thnk, he came from TSC. He is quite large, and to date has been a darn good roo. He eats well, I increased to higher protein feed for now, I'lll explain why later. Anyway, his tail feathers have been looking ratty, not nice like before. Is this normal in roos? I have read ratty feathers are a sign of illness, but he seems fine. I would say this has been going on for about 6 months. They just aren't nice looking anymore. Is it just normal wear and tear? I noticed the other day he was eating the feathers off of one of my hens, so I increased his protein and added some black oil sunflower seeds to their diet. He eats well, still forages when free ranging, and all that. COuld the ratty feathers be a result of lack of protein? THis may seem like a stupid question but I want to make sure I am not missing something. When I look at everyone elses roo pics theirs have nice tail feathers. Mine looks awful now. He isn't losing feathers, just scraggley and ratty looking. No lice, wormed and all that.

I agree with Patman. My roo's tailfeathers look awesome, right up until the point that he gets close to a molt.
I hope that's the case i have a RIR roo that seems to have a similar problem, otherwise i'd show him. Is there an easy way to induce a moult? other than withholding water? I heard that would do it, but it runs contrary to my general understanding that you want to always have clean fresh water available.
My roo's tail is looking ratty too, but he is only 7 1/2 months. However, it has been consistently cold, dreary, snowy here. They are huddling more than usual, and stay closer together most of the time, not due to space restriction, but just to keep warmer. I thought it might just be wear and tear?

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