Apparel for Chickens With Feather Picking

by Miki
(Lexington, KY US)

Question:
Apparel for Chickens With Feather Picking: I know this sounds strange.

I have a wonderful hen who is having her neck feathers picked out by another of my hens--I can't figure out which one.

Poor thing has a naked neck in the dead of winter. Would it be possible to wrap her neck in some kind of scarf or dickie? Or would that attract more bad behavior?

Answer:
It actually does not sound that strange at all. I have heard of similar contraptions being put into play for these problems with mixed results.

I would say give it a shot, that it couldn't make it that much worse. Observe her for a few days and if you then think that it is not helping just discontinue.

Good luck and happy apparel making.

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Apparel for Chickens With Feather Picking

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Feb 04, 2010
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Pecking order ...ill...or molting?
by: Elaine

I do not know that I would put anything around her neck that could possibly tighten or harm her!
Especially if you think the other hens are pecking her.

I would however separate her from the others. I have known hens to peck a weaker or sick hen. Usually they do peck to find their pecking order ...place in the flock...but if one is getting beat up badly..I would remove her. Are you sure she's not just going through a molt?

May 28, 2010
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reply to chicken apparel
by: janice penrod

The chicken that is doing the picking needs vitamin a in her diet. feather picking is a way of trying to supplement this lack. it can also lead to cannibalism. you can get vitamin from wall mart and dissolve it in their drinking water. I don't suggest the scarf as it may get caught and hurt your hen.

Jan 24, 2011
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Feather Picking
by: sharon

The molt should be well over by winter. You can help chickens through the molt and cold weather with higher protein foods and vitamins.

I ran across a suggestion of feeding black oil sun flower seeds to chickens. The seed is known for good quality protein and fat.

The tough little woody shell is easily digested by chickens and mine just love them. I've fed over 100 lbs to my 20 chickens this fall and winter and just bought a new bag.

I also bought a 50lb bag of chick start at the beginning of the molt; it has higher protein content and other nutrients, but no antibiotics.

I had seen one hen pulling and eating feathers from other birds. I decided she needed more protein in her diet, and if she did the others did, too.

You said you don't know which other hen is doing the plucking, so you might be guessing wrong. I have seen roosters pull plenty of neck feathers on reluctant hens.

Try to spend some more time watching your chickens and see if you can see what is going on.

In the mean time if never hurts to up their protein intake. If it is another hen, she just may be the dominant one, the only one with the "right" to pick on this one.

I think a neck warmer might make her feel better, if you could get it to stay, but it won't solve the problem.

Isolating her may just make her more picked on when you want to put her back with the flock and isolation can cause more stress than good.

Sometimes plucking is a sign of over crowding or boredom. You might add another feeding station to cut down on competition.

Jan 24, 2011
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Feather Picking
by: sharon

The molt should be well over by winter. You can help chickens through the molt and cold weather with higher protein foods and vitamins.

I ran across a suggestion of feeding black oil sun flower seeds to chickens. The seed is known for good quality protein and fat.

The tough little woody shell is easily digested by chickens and mine just love them. I've fed over 100 lbs to my 20 chickens this fall and winter and just bought a new bag.

I also bought a 50lb bag of chick start at the beginning of the molt; it has higher protein content and other nutrients, but no antibiotics.

I had seen one hen pulling and eating feathers from other birds. I decided she needed more protein in her diet, and if she did the others did, too.

You said you don't know which other hen is doing the plucking, so you might be guessing wrong. I have seen roosters pull plenty of neck feathers on reluctant hens.

Try to spend some more time watching your chickens and see if you can see what is going on. In the mean time if never hurts to up their protein intake.

If it is another hen, she just may be the dominant one, the only one with the "right" to pick on this one.

I think a neck warmer might make her feel better, if you could get it to stay, but it won't solve the problem.

Isolating her may just make her more picked on when you want to put her back with the flock and isolation can cause more stress than good.

Sometimes plucking is a sign of over crowding or boredom. You might add another feeding station to cut down on competition.

Feb 18, 2011
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Bitter apple
by: judema

Pet stores have something called bitter apple spray, it's supposed to stop feather picking in birds and excess licking in dogs. If you put something around her neck, I would be afraid she would catch it on something and choke herself.

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