Whats good to promote feather growth?

emvickrey

ChowDown Silkie Farm
10 Years
Mar 5, 2009
6,069
234
306
Hornbeak, Tennessee
I have a hen that just isn't growing her feathers back. I have brought her inside and she's living on my porch which is alot warmer than the coops. She has fellow nearly naked henfriends to keep her company. They've been constantly producing eggs since summer and they are overdue for a break. I had to take them out of their pens for them to stop and keep the roo off. No more piggy back rides. But i've been giving them boiled eggs, scrambled eggs left over chicken (baked of course) oyster shell, grit, applesauce. Even a piece of meat pizza. And of course the mixture of layer and scratch grains that I normally give them. I was curious about giving them poly vi sol for infants bit I don't want to give them the runs. Is there something I can give them to help them grow their feathers back.
The porch is warmer than it would be if they where outside but it still gets down to the 50's. To me if I wasn't clothed I would be freezing so I figure they aren't warm enough even on the porch. I do have a heat light they get under at night but they need their feathers
What do you all suggest? I'm sure there is some kind of feed or suppliment I can get to help give them a boost to growing feathers. One of them is already growing hers but the most naked one isn't even growing any down. I'll be making her a warmer apron that will be more like a jacket. But she needs feathers.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
33,176
27,909
1,077
St. Louis, MO
Check them closely to make sure they don't have lice or mites.

Feathers are about 95% protein so if there are no other issues, a high protein diet will help.
The eggs and chicken helps.
One big change I would make is - don't mix the scratch with the feed.
Layer feed is about 16% protein, which is sufficient for egg laying when they aren't making feathers. If you read the label, it says this is a complete ration and no supplement needed.
If you mix scratch (about 10% protein) with the feed, you're lowering the total protein.
I feed a higher protein feed like 20% or more when they're in the condition your birds are and limit the scratch grains.
 

7L Farm

Songster
9 Years
Jul 22, 2010
4,635
80
231
Anderson, Texas
I had a girl who was almost naked I gave her some oatmeal & Game Bird Starter in a bowl & mixed in some warm water. I did this everyday for well over a month. Some feathers take along time to come back. I was lucky cause she was molting. I also provided her with some greens from my garden. I also put avian charge in her water. She feathered out nicely. Lot of trouble but it worked. Good luck!! The GBS is 28% protein. She was molting but she had also been pecked on pretty bad by her flock mates before the molt began.
 

galanie

Treat Dispenser No More
10 Years
Aug 20, 2010
7,950
345
361
Colmesneil,TX
Like the other posters said, lots of protien. You can give her mashed up boiled or scrambled eggs, meat scraps, a bit of cat food, anything that is high protein to supplement her diet unless you want to buy some higher protien feed.
 

7L Farm

Songster
9 Years
Jul 22, 2010
4,635
80
231
Anderson, Texas
Too much protein will eventually cause gout. I'd feed them gamebird feed only til they feather out, then switch back to layer feed only.
I didn't know that thanks!! Mine are now on 20 % lay pellets.I'm also feeding them some seeds here & there along with some greens from my garden.
 

emvickrey

ChowDown Silkie Farm
10 Years
Mar 5, 2009
6,069
234
306
Hornbeak, Tennessee
I have an update on the girls progress. Moe, the one that was nearly naked now looks like a chicken cactus. The other 2 are nearly completely feathered although they where no where as bare as Moe. I call Moe my naked Chicken.

I have them in my carport room in a pen with wood shavings that they seem to think is amusing I have to clean up all the time. I'm feeding them showbird/bamebird crumbles and a small handful of conditioner both made by Mana Pro. For a treat they get a little scratch grains and vegetable scraps. Tomorrow they'll get some lettace. It's winter so we don't have a garden, they get what I buy at the store. I of course have 2 heat lamps in the pen because it gets chilly and poor Moe is naked. I know I would be cold if I had to stay in a room without my feathers on so I figure she is too. I put a makeshift nest box for the other 2 that are still laying.

I'm thinking she is just going thru a real hard moult. Is that possible? I've read a few posts where a few people had hens that had such a hard moult they where nearly naked. Moe didn't loose all her feathers. She had some on her legs, feed breast, nexk and under her wings on her sides. Unless somebody was pulling her feathers out I don't think the roo would have worn feathers off that bad.
I just got a pic so this is them now. Moe looks so tiny without feathers.
 

GardenState38

Songster
10 Years
Apr 13, 2011
313
56
191
I'm afraid I don't have answers for you, but I just wanted to say, "Poor little Moe!"
hugs.gif

I hope she feathers out real quick! Poor baby!
 

SteveBaz

Songster
8 Years
Aug 6, 2011
2,130
50
173
Pacific North West
I think good feather growth and maintenance requires adequate amounts of proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Feathering problem in a backyard flock to inadequate feeding. A well balanced poultry feed formulated for appropriate age and type of bird will assure that the flock is receiving the necessary nutrients to maintain feather growth and maintenance. Diets formulated specifically for younger chickens is totally different for egg production or meat production and for the appropriate Birds require different levels of protein and energy at different ages. Be sure that your birds are properly fed, it is best to purchase a poultry feed formulated for the type of bird and age of bird kept. The trick is well balanced food groups and plenty of proteins and less junk foods. I found the more veggies I offered from the scrapes from Leslie the produce manager friend I have from the local grocery store, he gives me fruits and veggies. My birds coats and feathers are fantastic. Try finding a local store to give you a bag of scrapes a couple times a week it really helps. Best of luck.
 

they'reHISchickens

Songster
11 Years
Oct 31, 2008
1,525
30
194
Reading
When ours have a hard molt, we supplement the layer feed with BOSS.. black oil sunflower seeds. We will hand feed BOSS to bare birds as treats. This winter we also got one bag of alfalfa pellets ( for horses) 16% protein. The alfalfa you have to moisten well and let it regenerate into something they will eat. DH lets a day's batch dry out in a pan and then mixes it in with our homemade scratch mixture. It brought the yolks back to a lovely gold within a week.
You can also try sprouting a whole grain like oats, rye seed or wheat. It is a good protein source when the root sprouts are an inch or so long.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom