Will they ever grow back properly?


6 Years
Apr 25, 2013
Wasilla, AK
This little lady was attacked by a dog when she was just a chick. She was very lucky! The vet said that only damage she could see, outside of bruising and shock was a puncture to her cleaning glad and didn't see it to be a problem. We had to cut a bunch of tail feathers in order to clean her up and now they just are not growing in properly. She is 5 months old. Sorry they are not the greatest of pictures but you can see how they are fanned out and not up like the other girls. They are also very strong, not light and fluffy like the other girls. Will they be like this always or will they eventually grow in properly? not that it matters she is still a sweet little thing who will one day provide us eggs! Thanks

The dog attack probably damaged the feather follicles/growing tracts in the tail area, causing the tail feathers to grow in differently than usual. Though I have to say, at least from the photos, the tail looks normal. But I suppose it probably looks different in person, and when compared to your other hen's tails.

When she molts, the feathers may or may not grow in normal. I guess you'll just have to see. You are right, though: it doesn't matter what she looks like as long as she is a sweet bird that lays plenty of eggs.

Good luck with your hens!
Can she lift the tail up and move it, or does she always hold it low and flat like that?
When the dog bite damaged the preening gland I wonder if it didn't get the tail bone or some vertebrae and the tail is partially paralyzed. It looks like a lobster tail the way she holds it fanned out, I've seen them do that, but not permanently like she seems to. I don't know what you could do about it except keep it trimmed so it stays clean. The dog bite healed up fine and there is nothing else going on in the area?
From what I can tell, at this point everything else seems to be working fine in the back end. She is not laying yet, just starting to get red so time will tell if we have problems there.
I had a hen with a tail similar to yours. It was like that ever since she was a chick. Louise was always a little bit odd and her tail never moved properly, but she laid eggs for 3 years before dying from egg binding.
She never had any problems with flying (as I found out, but that's another story). Her tail was bent awkwardly to one side and was always all scrawny.

She's on the left here:


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