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Mim

Loss of feathers

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Hello

I'm new to keeping chickens so would really appreciate some advice. I have 5 lovely girls. They are all sprightly, interested and basically as chickens should be. The only thing is that 2 are losing feathers around their butts and another has some missing from the back of her neck. This has been going on so slowly for weeks, that it didn't seem to be getting worse, but one definitely is continuing to lose feathers. The others don't seem to  be losing any more, but they don't  seem to be getting any better either. I've checked them all for critters and blood, but there is no sign of anything untoward. I regularly clean out their coop. I've been using Auboise with diamataceous earth and dried lavender mixed in. They have water with cider vinegar in, and on cold mornings, I give them porridge as described on the blog here. In the afternoon, I give them either mixed corn or live mealworms. They are laying.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Welcome to the forum Mim 😊

They could be moulting but more likely is you have a feather pecker.

Give them lots of things to keep them entertained and perches so they can escape the culprit.

Hang up cabbages, give them treat balls and as a  special treat hang up corn on the cob.

If you see them doing it you could squirt them with a water pistol. If it gets too bad, you might have to fit bumper bits.

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37 minutes ago, Luvachicken said:

Welcome to the forum Mim 😊

They could be moulting but more likely is you have a feather pecker.

Give them lots of things to keep them entertained and perches so they can escape the culprit.

Hang up cabbages, give them treat balls and as a  special treat hang up corn on the cob.

If you see them doing it you could squirt them with a water pistol. If it gets too bad, you might have to fit bumper bits.

Bumper bits???😕

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They are little plastic (for a better comparison) braces that you attach to the beak of a hen. It makes it near impossible for them to get hold of small things like feathers.

If you google bumpa bits (not bumper bits) you should be able to find them.

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See this video They are essential if you have any feather pulling or bullying, as it can quickly escalate into cannibalism. The bird with a full outfit of feathers is likely yo be the bully, you may also have more than one bully

Roughly where are you located? If you're near me, I am happy to fit bumpa bits for you.

 

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10 minutes ago, The Dogmother said:

See this video They are essential if you have any feather pulling or bullying, as it can quickly escalate into cannibalism. The bird with a full outfit of feathers is likely yo be the bully, you may also have more than one bully

Roughly where are you located? If you're near me, I am happy to fit bumpa bits for you.

 

Those look tricky put on them on your own, plus I'd be frightened I might hurt them. 2 of the girls have all of their feathers. I've only seen one of them peck the others. I've called her Regina as she is the mean girl of the bunch.

I'm in Margate.

Sorry about the bold type. I don't know what happened there.

 

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As previously mentioned. Bumps bits are the best option.  In the meantime while sourcing some, If you know that one is pecking try isolating her for a couple of days away from the rest of the flock.  It is not guaranteed to work but she she is allows back she will have lost status on the flock and be bottom of the pecking order.

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Yes, try isolation first, but please don't delay in getting bits fitted; if you ring up Cotswold Chickens, they will send some out to you, and the pliers too. I wish I was near enough to do it for you - it doesn't hurt them; they are hacked off for a bout 5 minutes, then soon get on with being chickens. As I explained to someone the other week, it is better than dead birds, which can easily happen.

Might be worth putting a shout-out topic up to see if anyone near you can help out.

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Thanks, a shout out is a good idea. Which part of the forum do you think would be best for that?

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31 minutes ago, ajm200 said:

As previously mentioned. Bumps bits are the best option.  In the meantime while sourcing some, If you know that one is pecking try isolating her for a couple of days away from the rest of the flock.  It is not guaranteed to work but she she is allows back she will have lost status on the flock and be bottom of the pecking order.

Sorry that doesn’t make much sense.  My eyes and iPhone keyboards don’t mix. 

While you wait for Bumpa bits, isolate the pecking hen and when you put her back into the flock she will have lost status and be bottom of the pecking order

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19 hours ago, Cat tails said:

If you google bumpa bits (not bumper bits) you should be able to find them.

Sorry,  I was in school mode not chicken mode for spellings :oops:

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26 minutes ago, Luvachicken said:

Sorry,  I was in school mode not chicken mode for spellings :oops:

:lol:

no worries! Only if you google bumper bits, you are not going to find what you are looking for chicken wise. 😉

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