Feathers don't regrow

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chickenfan
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Feathers don't regrow

Post by chickenfan »

I have a hen that lost the feathers on the top of her wings last autumn. I'm not sure whether she was pecked or was too popular with the cockerel. Strangely they have never grown back. I thought she must be being feather-pecked so put her in a pen alongside the others but after all this time they have never regrown. I don't know if anyone has any suggestions? She is a hybrid layer.
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Marigold
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Re: Feathers don't regrow

Post by Marigold »

How old is she? Did she properly moult last autumn? Feathers don't regrow like hair does - they should grow back when she next moults which is usually in the autumn/winter after their second summer. However I've known hybrids that moult less often than that. If she's not sore or bleeding you could just keep an eye to see that cockerel damage is minimal this summer.
I suppose commercial hybrids are bred to avoid moult for as long as possible because they go out of lay and become unproductive for weeks.
chickenfan
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Re: Feathers don't regrow

Post by chickenfan »

Thanks Marigold. I'll put her back with the others in that case. She's 18 months old 'Amber link' hybrid so perhaps had the moult bred out of her.
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Tweetypie
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Re: Feathers don't regrow

Post by Tweetypie »

Just popped in to follow this post as I noticed Barbie was looking a little bald at the front of her chest over the past few weeks. I am not sure she had a "full" moult last Autumn. By that I mean I clearly noticed it that first Autumn I had her, as she and Sindy looked bedraggled for weeks. Today, she looked quite sore, some blood. She is currently in good spirits, red crop and lays almost every day. No bullying between the girls, they all get on nicely. I tried to check if she had mites -nothing that my eyes could see. The other 3 are OK.
Is it possible her feathers never grew back properly? If so, why would the situation be getting worse and is there anything I can put on it?
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rick
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Re: Feathers don't regrow

Post by rick »

Chickens often have patches where they just dont re-feather until the next moult but blood always sets off the alarm bells! Its usually when new pin feathers have been pecked so I'm assuming that either she, or another, is in the habit of pecking new pins as they appear. My first, least intrusive, thought is to use a bit of anti-peck on just the area and see if some pins get to develop. I hate spraying the stuff (same with the purple antiseptic that people seem to use like half blue chickens are a good idea!) A couple of sprays into a bowl with some sudocrem and put it just where you want it is much better. (can do no harm even if it isn't the problem.) If pins do develop then you could take her out for a week to keep them safe until they are past the point where pecking would be a temptation or, maybe, the anti-peck flavour will have put them off the idea anyway - its a matter of close observation.
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Tweetypie
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Re: Feathers don't regrow

Post by Tweetypie »

Thank you, Rick, I found out yesterday how it has been caused (not through pecking). The fence panels I used for the run, trellis style with the open squares, are not fully covered with mesh all the way round and the section uncovered is where she has been leaning through to try to get to the grass!! Caught her in the act! I have now put meshing against that part. I've also made a makeshift extra fence section using the plastic fence mesh stuff, which leads from the gate run, onto a small section of grass. I let them have access to that for a few hours a day now. Saves me from mowing it, too ;-)
I will see if pets r us have some purple spray. Its probably useful to have that as a standby anyway.
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