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#114149 - 04/05/15 12:05 AM No feathers
maryharp Offline
New Egg

Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 5
Loc: Kent
I collected 2 ex-battery hens just over a month ago to add to my existing 2 hens. This is the 3rd time I have had ex-batts and I am used to their initial appearance. The more timid of the 2 has pretty much grown all of her feathers back already, and is looking great, but the other one doesn't seem to be showing any signs of feather re-growth, and her back is quite red. I have watched the hens together to see if there are any signs of pecking, but I haven't spotted any real bullying issues since the first couple of days. It did take a few days for the hens to all get along together, but they are fine now.
I add poultry spice to their layers mash, and am also feeing dried cat food soaked in water for extra protein.
Should I be concerned about my hen with a bare back? She is very perky and doesn't seem ill to me, but I don't understand why she isn't growing her feathers back.

#114153 - 04/05/15 11:34 AM Re: No feathers [Re: maryharp]
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8501
Loc: Montana
Hard to say without seeing the hen. If the feather folicles were damaged, some might not regrow, but I think just patience will bring some refeathering (are the hens getting Oyster Shell and Grit--or your equivilence--UK?) Ex-battery hens can always be a risk, longer adjustment, but now, happy girls! Good luck.

#114384 - 05/17/15 05:15 AM Re: No feathers [Re: CJR]
Foehn Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1974
Loc: New Zealand
Don't worry about the red skin, it is just a reaction to light but is not sunburn.
Try stepping up the protein you are giving her. You should be feeding something that has 17-18% protein, preferably animal protein to her. If your feed is low in protein, she will struggle to grow feathers. If the follicles are not damaged and the other hen is not pulling out what she is trying to grow, then the protein should help. With low protein food you can also supplement with dog roll or cat food. The dry cat food you are feeding may be loaded with carbohydrates rather than protein. Just make sure that either cat or dog food is not high in salt as hens can't process high amounts and it will damage her kidneys. Meat scrap or fish scrap also good sources, but the fish needs to be pressure cooked to make the bones go soft/brittle and should be fed twice a week at about 100grms per hen (exact amounts not necessary) Let us know how you get on.


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