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    • CommentAuthorBishBashBosh
    • CommentTimeNov 5th, 2009 8:27am (Nov 5th 2009) edited
     
    Hi, I have two chickens in the back garden in a reasonably-sized run (that has recently been made bigger).
    (see them here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bish-bash-bosh/sets/72157618928108331/ )
    I thought they got on pretty well - the amber hen (Annie Mac) is definitely the dominant of the two, but I hardly see any pecking between them.

    However, if you look at the last 5 photos you can see that the speckled hen (Daisy) has feathers reduced to quills on the back of her neck. What's the probable cause of this do you think? She's quite an emotional hen... she's been broody twice this year and had a bit of a moult after each time (hence her tail is lacking). There were bits of broken feather on her when she came out this morning, and seems to be some in the house too. Also her comb looks smaller. I haven't had a chance to let them out of the run in the weekday evenings since the clocks went back, so maybe that has something to do with it?

    Help! What can I do?

    Thanks
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeNov 5th, 2009 11:35pm (Nov 5th 2009)
     
    I'm afraid I can't offer any advice as I don't have any hens, but I just wanted to say thanks for posting the pictures - they are lovely girls! I'm sure Red or Neil will be able to give you some advice when they pick up the message.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeNov 6th, 2009 6:03am (Nov 6th 2009) edited
     
    My hens molt in different spots at different times of the year. It sounds like it could just be that, molting again, but this time on her neck, but keep an eye on them for a while, to see if it could be something else, it really does look like new feathers coming in however.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeNov 7th, 2009 10:36pm (Nov 7th 2009)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Is she moulting fully for the winter? Some hens don't moult as much as others, and so it is harder to notice when they have actually been through the moult! Check under the feathers on her back for the 'spines' of new growing feathers. Penny, for example, keeps most of her feathers during moult whereas Tilly loses almost all of hers! :)

    Also, have you seen her being pecked by Annie Mac any more than usual? Is there any sign of blood?

    Sorry this has taken so long for me to reply to, hope your girls are okay :001_smile:
    • CommentAuthorBishBashBosh
    • CommentTimeNov 16th, 2009 10:27pm (Nov 16th 2009)
     
    Hi! Thanks for replying. Daisy is looking better now. I think it was just moulting. Annie hardly ever pecks her, and there were no signs of blood. I think I just hadn't noticed the feathers from her neck fall out before they had started growing back again!

    Her feathers are growing back slowly but surely. My attention has now focused towards digging up the floor of their run and replacing it with a few inches of wood chips and shavings. The weather had turned the floor into a horrible smelly mud pit :-s