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Last year I bought three lovely new girls into our decreasing flock and they all settled in really quickly and cheerfully. They began laying in the winter and were pretty healthy looking. However since they malted in the spring they've lost all the feather around their legs and tummies. My other three older chicks are fully feathered and I've fleaed, wormed and diatomed them all but still their feathers aren't coming back. It's looking really bad and my neighbour has been threatening to go to the RSPCA about them. They're all laying, eating well and two of them are relatively padded but one is so skinny and probably has the least feathers of them all, with the approach of Winter I'm really starting to worry.

Any ideas what it is? They've been like this for six months now.


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Have you tried giving them a tonic in their water? I give my girls Lifeguard tonic when they are moulting, and they have all feathered up nicely. Nettex have a product called Total Moulting Solutions, which might help.


Alternatively, you could try talking to your vet about it and see if they have any suggestions.

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Sorry to hear about your situation. I had 3 ex batts who were featherless after their caged life. 2 feathered quickly but one stayed bald. I couldn't figure out why. I applied anti peck spray on the off chance that there was some feather pecking going on (although I didn't see any evidence of this). Within a few weeks she was almost completely feathered again. Still not sure if that was the cause of her refeathering but it might be worth a try. I also give them lifeguard tonic which I find very good.


Perhaps you could just take them to the vet for a checkup incase there is anything you cannot detect. You can tell your neighbour. They cannot argue that you are not giving them the best care if you have done that and all you have said. If you have hybrid hens, they are often very skinny anyway as they are laying birds, not meat birds.


Also, do they have enough space and distractions (peck blocks, hanging cabbages, perches etc), just in case they are plucking each other's feathers.

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What a worry but some great advice above (didn't mean below - it was all the other way up when I previewed it!) .


We had similar with our ex-batts, they weren't really in that bad a state but never seemed to improved looks wise and continued to be a bit ratty for months and months. The thing that did it in the end for us was adding Poultry Spice to their mash - we always use it now when they're struggling in the feathers department - within a couple of months we had three big fat glossy ex-batts. If I could remember how to add photos I'd show you a picture of them now! :doh: You might find it under an 'ex-batts' thread on here somewhere, I posted on their first henniversary back in April.


You might also find that it would help to switch them to a high protein (growers) food for a while, the egg production will drop off but they should put on weight and get some better featherage. We found that the Spice worked for us, someone else might be able to advise on whether switching food would help.


Good luck!



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