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    • CommentAuthorukhunter08
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th, 2011 3:54pm (Feb 9th 2011)
     
    Hi there everyone i am new to this forum and new to chicken keeping.
    I have had my 4 pullets for about 6 months now and i got them at 21 weeks old.
    They have layed eggs more or less every day apart from one this last week or so.
    Over the last week i have noticed that the one that has stoped laying has also started to pulled all her breast feathers out and looks a little roughed up, She is still eating and drinking fine.Could anyone shed some light on this to why as i have looked on the net and cannot find anything about this.I also have had a look at night for the red spider mite but can not see anything but i would have thought that spider mite would affect all four:face-sad:
    Thanks ste.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th, 2011 4:30pm (Feb 9th 2011)
     
    Could she be going broody? I'm no expert...Red is, and she'll probably be around later!
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th, 2011 5:54pm (Feb 9th 2011) edited
     
    welcome to the forum its always good to here from new people. She sounds like she is broody to me ukhunter08 is she sitting in the nest box all the time ?
    • CommentAuthorukhunter08
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th, 2011 8:23pm (Feb 9th 2011)
     
    Thanks for the replies. She does not seem to go on the nest as she has stoped laying and also she is the smallest of the four hens.Also the feathers are just were she perches at night. It is like i said just around the breast area...Very strange.I am going to keep an eye on her as it seems to be during the night when she is plucking. I was just wondering if it could be one of the other hens but i would of thought getting to her breast area would be a little hard for another chicken to do...
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th, 2011 4:07am (Feb 10th 2011)
     
    She may just be molting, Hunter..I have one of my hens that just started molting..she must think it's Spring already. I'll have to put clothes on her if it gets cold at night again.
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th, 2011 4:03pm (Feb 10th 2011)
     
    Have you seen the knitting patterns yet, Hunter?
    • CommentAuthorukhunter08
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th, 2011 4:18pm (Feb 11th 2011)
     
    I have just noticed that she has now gone bold around her eyes and lost a few feathers at the back of her neck. The other 3 hens are fine but do not seem to have ate much today....Very strange.
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th, 2011 5:08pm (Feb 11th 2011) edited
     
    If she is healthy and normal in her eating and drinking i think she will be fine and maybe just moulting I perhaps would get some poultry spice and add that to there food and may be some cod-liver oil and mix that in there layers pellets it will not do any of them any harm at all this will aid feather growth. :face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th, 2011 10:06pm (Feb 11th 2011)
     
    Doesn't Red always say something about putting some sort of vinegar in the water? Cider vinegar???? I can't remember and could be completely wrong - maybe a chicken keeper will know what I'm on about!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th, 2011 6:37pm (Feb 12th 2011)
     
    You're right Kate; apple cider vinegar. Might be worth a go...
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th, 2011 8:50pm (Feb 12th 2011)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    :welcome: to the forum.

    First things first you need to work out who is doing the pecking - is the hen picking out her own feathers, or are the other chickens bullying her and pulling them out? Try reading through these threads, they should give you some things to try out...

    http://www.hencam.co.uk/hencam_forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=299&page=1#Item_10

    http://www.hencam.co.uk/hencam_forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=611&page=1#Item_7

    The easiest things to check:

    Make sure you are feeding your girls Layers Pellets, and check the amount of protein in them.

    If they are confined to a coop, make sure it is big enough for them all. Give them things to climb on (branches, plant pots), and a sand pit to bathe and scratch in.

    If there is one chicken who is the main aggressor, separate her from the others for a while...



    If you haven't wormed your girls yet I'd recommend doing so, just to make sure internal parasites aren't the cause - we use Flubenvet. Also, get yourself some Diatomaceous Earth (spelling?!); scatter it in the nest box, where they sleep, and even mix a little in with their food...will get rid of any remaining internal and external parasites.

    Apple Cider Vinegar - miracle cure for so many chicken ailments! Add a couple spoonfuls in their water container, it helps with all sorts of things :face-smile:

    Like the others said, she could just be moulting. Get hold of her and gently move some of her feathers aside to see if you can see any new ones growing...this thread will help show what they look like:
    http://www.hencam.co.uk/hencam_forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=243&page=1#Item_50

    That's all I can think of for now, hope some of this helps and be sure to read through the other threads too :smile:
    • CommentAuthorukhunter08
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th, 2011 10:27am (Feb 13th 2011)
     
    Thanks red... After a sleeples night lastnight as i stayed up on hen watch i noteced that my hen is being picked on by just one other hen and is pulling its feathers out.
    My four hens have a 10ft by 10ft pen to walk around in and a 4ft by 3ft shed to roost in at night on a perch.My hens do have layers and also a mix of vegetables daily. However i dont have anything for them to climb on in the pen so i will sort that out in the next few days.
    As for worming i will also sort that out to.
    The apple cider vinegar should i put that in everytime i change the water?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th, 2011 11:04am (Feb 13th 2011) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Haha, bless you, glad the hen watch brought results!

    That's a nice size run they have. It's easy to give them things to jump and climb on, in our run we have a few upturned plant pots, some boulders, and our girls love to perch on them. I've seen chicken enclosures with branches in them before which the birds love to roost on. A mirror is also cheap and easy to get hold of and they do enjoy admiring themselves!!

    I know plenty of hen keepers who swear by Apple Cider Vinegar and add it to their chickens' water every time, but we just give it to our girls if they are acting a little under the weather or if they are stressed. You can give them it constantly by all means, it's entirely your decision :smile:

    Hope you can sort out your bully chicken's behaviour!
    • CommentAuthorukhunter08
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th, 2011 11:36am (Feb 13th 2011)
     
    Just like to say thanks for all the comments.
    I have just been in the back garden and put some large buckets in the pen and my little lads football:face-smile:.
    I am of to tescos soon so i will get some apple cider vinegar and give it a go.
    I have also just ask my partner lesley if we can have another chicken coop instead of a large pond so i have somewere to separate my hens if needs be. Not got an answer yet but it is looking good.
    Also i have just give my featherles hen a few worms without the other 3 looking:face-angel:

    Over the next week or so i will get some pictures up as well.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th, 2011 2:41pm (Feb 13th 2011)
     
    Tell your partner how much safer a hen coop is than a pond! If you have a young son you wouldn't want him or a friend falling into a pond, so would have to keep it covered, and then what's the point?!! Plus a fish can't provide you with a nice egg for your breakfast!

    I hope it all works out with them, and I'm looking forward to seeing the photos.
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th, 2011 5:20pm (Feb 13th 2011)
     
    Yes me to Kate can,t wait to see your Girls :face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th, 2011 6:58pm (Feb 13th 2011)
     
    Yes, hurry up with the pics...:D
    • CommentAuthorukhunter08
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2011 1:39pm (Feb 21st 2011)
     
    Just to let you no that my hen has got a few feathers back on her head. The bully hen has now seem to stop bulling her.
    My conclusion is that i went away for a week and my partner only gave my girls the layers. I did tell her that would be fine. Now i give them fresh veg everyday as well as the layers. Now over the last week i have noticed like i said the bully has stoped bulling. Could this be because they are back on the veg again.
    I have also started to put a drop of apple cider vinegar in the water.
    I am also now back to 4 eggs a day and not 3.
    Once again just like to say thank you for your comments:face-smile:
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2011 4:47pm (Feb 21st 2011)
     
    All sounds good to me Hunter :face-smile: :face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2011 5:10pm (Feb 21st 2011)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Glad it's not a problem anymore! :smile:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2011 9:49pm (Feb 21st 2011)
     
    Glad all is well Hunter, hens do need their green stuff, I keep my eye on the reduced rack in Asda as they knock salad stuff down to ten and twenty pence about half five. Nothing wrong with it and it makes lovely treats for the girls. I got mine bean shoots and mixed salad ten pence a bag tonight so they will be well pleased tomorrow.
    • CommentAuthorukhunter08
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th, 2011 1:54pm (Feb 24th 2011)
     
    I go to tescos on a wednesday about half 4 and get mixed lettice for 25p a bag and cucumbers for around the 50p mark:face-smile:
    They love it.
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th, 2011 4:49pm (Feb 24th 2011)
     
    Hi Hunter nice to see you again. Some of the reduced stuff is real good value and will keep in the fridge for a few more days, nothing unusual for us to eat either. My hens adore cucumber, I grew some in the green house last year and of course we got loads all at the same time. No problem for the hens though they soon scoffed them. It has been real nice warm and sunny here this afternoon. It was a real treat to be able to get out in the garden. Hens were right chuffed as we had a dig for worms and grubs!!!
    • CommentAuthorukhunter08
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th, 2011 11:23am (Feb 25th 2011)
     
    The good thing is i have my own allotment so i grow alot of greens as well for the hens:face-smile:
    One other good thing like you mentioned is the worms..
    I do have 3 large compost areas witch is full of worms so once a week i dig a few out.
    Just come to the conclusion that my hens get better looked after than the rest of my family:face-smile:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th, 2011 12:09pm (Feb 25th 2011)
     
    Ha ha my family says just the same Hunter. My neighbour also says you spoiling those hens again. I love them to bits such wonderful company and they are always mighty pleased to see you and lend a helping beak or claw. I just started a gardening sort of thread down in the random and downright weird catergory. Please feel free to add any helpfull hints and tips. I just got a small veg garden, but is it amazing what you can grow in a small place with out too much trouble.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th, 2011 8:47pm (Feb 25th 2011)
     
    Try giving the family worms and I don't think THEY'LL think they're being spoilt Hunter!! :face-smile:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th, 2011 10:12pm (Feb 25th 2011)
     
    But they are organic Kate and will be the best!!!
    • CommentAuthorukhunter08
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2011 9:41am (Feb 26th 2011)
     
    Kate i belive worms are good for you...Full of protein.
    Think i may do the family a worm soup, See how that goes:face-devil-grin:
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2011 12:43pm (Feb 26th 2011)
     
    Heston B, the chef, has given children in hospital worms that have been injected with tomato ketchup.

    This will also clean all the soil out of the worm's intestine. Don't forget to do that, or put them into oats for a day or two so they do it for themselves.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2011 4:44pm (Feb 26th 2011)
     
    Nobody loves me
    Everybody hates me
    I'm going down the garden to eat worms
    The long thin slimy ones slip down easily
    The short fat fuzzy ones stick.
    I bite off the heads and I suck out the juice
    And I throw the skins away,
    And everybody wonders how I can survive
    On a hundred worms a day.

    Sorry, Red...:tooth:
    • CommentAuthorukhunter08
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2011 5:27pm (Feb 26th 2011)
     
    Nice one chief i like that one:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2011 9:36pm (Feb 26th 2011)
     
    Worm soup?! Think it'll go straight down the pan. :ack2: bleugh!!! :_puke:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th, 2011 1:51pm (Feb 27th 2011)
     
    Ha ha ha lovely bit of verse CC you do make I laff.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th, 2011 4:33pm (Feb 27th 2011)
     
    I've known that since I was a nipper; my friend taught it to me and she learned it at Brownies...:)
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th, 2011 12:32pm (Feb 28th 2011)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I ate a worm as a kid (when I was veggie! :tooth: ) and it made me feel poorly...
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th, 2011 5:51pm (Feb 28th 2011)
     
    I don't suppose it did a lot for the worm either...
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMar 1st, 2011 1:05am (Mar 1st 2011) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    :ack2:
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeMar 6th, 2011 2:05am (Mar 6th 2011)
     
    Posted By: chief chickenNobody loves me
    Everybody hates me
    I'm going down the garden to eat worms
    The long thin slimy ones slip down easily
    The short fat fuzzy ones stick.
    I bite off the heads and I suck out the juice
    And I throw the skins away,
    And everybody wonders how I can survive
    On a hundred worms a day.

    Sorry, Red...:tooth:" alt=":tooth:" src="http:///hencam_forum/extensions/Vanillacons/smilies/happy/tooth.gif" />


    CC, I only learned the first 3 lines of that one when I was a kid..I didn't know there was more to it...learn something new every day on here.
    :face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 6th, 2011 8:57pm (Mar 6th 2011)
     
    It sort of sounds familiar to me - I think my nan probably used to sing it but maybe she had slightly different words. I can't make those words fit with the tune she used!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 7th, 2011 6:30pm (Mar 7th 2011)
     
    Joo want me to put the sheet music on for you? :)
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeMar 7th, 2011 6:58pm (Mar 7th 2011)
     
    Ha ha!! No ta! Its been a long time since I read music - it doesn't conjure up in my head how it would sound any more. I should ask my colleagues at work - I bet one of them would know it.