Whats good to promote feather growth?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by emvickrey, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    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.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    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.
  3. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    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.
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    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.
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    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.
  6. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    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.
  7. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    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.
  8. GardenState38

    GardenState38 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2011
    I'm afraid I don't have answers for you, but I just wanted to say, "Poor little Moe!" [​IMG]
    I hope she feathers out real quick! Poor baby!
  9. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    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.
  10. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2008
    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.

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