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mullethunter

Plucking out her own new feathers

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My campine bantam Camilla is in the middle of a catastrophic moult. She’s a bit of a textbook chicken - excellent egg layer and accordingly moults spectacularly.

This year though for the first time her new feathers seem to be massively uncomfortable and I’m pretty sure she’s pulled out quite a lot of the ones on her rump as they’ve started to emerge. I’m certain she’s doing it herself as she’s too hen and wouldn’t tolerate anyone else doing it even at her lowest ebb.

Any ideas what I can do about it? Do I have to make her a jumper.

AD16F2A8-F6E5-4821-94AB-603ED3C86F66.jpeg

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Not sure what to suggest, I don't suppose there is any chance she has something like depluming mite?  I've not heard of hens pulling out their own feathers, and online wisdom seems to suggest possibly protein deficiency or boredom.  Well its true hens do sometimes eat feathers to get more protein (from memory I think its keratin in the feather shaft?), and the moult puts extra strain on the body so perhaps give her a protein boost for a week or two?  I can see she has a really nice clutch of tail feathers just waiting to break out, so perhaps she is just uncomfortable at the moment and this will pass.  I'd keep an eye on her to make sure nothing untoward is going on from her flockmates, check her over for mites and give her a bit of a protein treat, which won't do any harm and see how things are in a week or 10 days.

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Just a little update (I’ll try to get a photo tomorrow) - it’s working!!!

I hate to see her wearing it - she can’t wipe her beak which clearly really annoys her - but her feathers are all regrowing really nicely now. Thank goodness for that!

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