Author Topic: Calling all chicken pluckers!  (Read 39394 times)

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Offline Old Philosopher

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Calling all chicken pluckers!
« on: March 21, 2012, 06:50:12 PM »
There has to be other chicken raisers here, besides me and Wilderbeast. Raise your hands!

I currently have 4 Brahmas,  and 4 Australorps. Two of the Brahmas will be 5 years old in May. So we started planning to get new birds, and cull out the older, non-productive birds. 
Yeah, right.... I have detailed laying records going back several years. In February, I got a total of 25 eggs from all 8 birds. I know what months are slow during the winter, with Jan and Feb being the worst. I keep a light on to give them 14 hours of light year around. But things have really been slow, even with a mild winter.

In December, I got 1.47 eggs per day. In January it was .89 eggs per day, and in February it was .83 eggs per day.  The first 15 days of March I only got 12 eggs!

Around the 16th of March (this month) we started talking about culling the flock, and bringing in a half-dozen new pullets. In the past 8 days I've collected 27 eggs!!!!  And people tell me animals aren't psychic! They've been spittin' out eggs like a gumball machine ever since the thought went out to whack a couple of the slackers. Hahahaha!

So Wilderbeast, how are your girls doing these days?  Thrown any wild parties in that crash pad you built them?
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Offline Smokewalker

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 07:13:33 PM »
Did you sharpen your hatchet  in front of them sort of a silent version of "Making them an offer they can't refuse"? :o
"Theres allot of learnin under this hat son." "Boy use what ya kin see and quit tryin a see what ya kin use." Grand pa Jesse- A real Cowboy

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 07:17:34 PM »
No hatchet, but I have threatened to call Colonel Sanders in the past.
I told them if they didn't like sitting on the nest, they would be sitting on a dumpling.
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Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 07:32:05 PM »
Did someone mention my name?  :)

I didn't use lights this year and saw an even greater drop off in egg production than you described.  From December to February we barely had enough eggs for my wife and I.

I have also seen a similar increase in production in the last 4 weeks.  My 8 layers are putting out 4-6 eggs a day.  Now we're starting to build up a reserve, I probably have 4 dozen eggs in the fridge now.

Our birds are from 1 1/2 to 5 years old and its funny because I was just talking about adding a half dozen golden comets this spring because of the drop off in production this winter.  We still may do that.

OP if you haven't posted it here already, if you could post your technique for making powdered eggs I think I'll give it a try this year.  I treated myself to a dehydrator and need to play with it.
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 07:34:28 PM »
Lol, totally off-topic, but OP's new avatar is awesome! :D

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 07:40:28 PM »
Thanks PW!


OP if you haven't posted it here already, if you could post your technique for making powdered eggs I think I'll give it a try this year.  I treated myself to a dehydrator and need to play with it.
I'll start a new thread for it. Here is where I'd like to hear about success and failure and tricks learned in keeping birds.
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Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 08:07:14 PM »
Thanks PW!


OP if you haven't posted it here already, if you could post your technique for making powdered eggs I think I'll give it a try this year.  I treated myself to a dehydrator and need to play with it.
I'll start a new thread for it. Here is where I'd like to hear about success and failure and tricks learned in keeping birds.

Thank you. 

As to hints and techniques, my girls are free ranging, I keep a feeder in the coop and make sure they always have water.  That's all.  I've lost a few over the years to predation in the form of a neighborhood terrier  >:(, but the owner has been more vigilant in the last year. My dog seems to keep the raccoons and coyotes away.

These are extremely low maintenance animals.
Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? One should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2012, 08:20:19 PM »
....
These are extremely low maintenance animals.
Chickens are easier than even rabbits, IMO. Knock on my little wooden head, but I have never had to deal with illness, or parasites. Like a lot of things, what I don't spend time worrying about never happens. I've only had one bird taken by a hawk in 11 years.
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2012, 02:15:00 PM »
Which breed should I look for if I want mainly eggs...but if I wish to incubate eggs and raise those for meat?   

With just two of us I usually grab the smallest whole chickens in the store , so I'm thinking these meat birds dont have to be huge like the meat chickens you can buy and raise for that purpose.

Its been a looong time since I've dealt with chickens.  I do miss them.   

WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2012, 02:27:02 PM »
Which breed should I look for if I want mainly eggs...but if I wish to incubate eggs and raise those for meat?   

With just two of us I usually grab the smallest whole chickens in the store , so I'm thinking these meat birds dont have to be huge like the meat chickens you can buy and raise for that purpose.

Its been a looong time since I've dealt with chickens.  I do miss them.   

WW.
Ah...size is determined by how long they live, and keep eating.  :P
The Cornish is what we raise strictly for meat, and we butcher "game hens" at about 2 1/2# live weight. The rest of the batch we butcher at around 5#, which give us a 3-4# "fryer". All the same breed of bird, harvested at what ever size we want.

There are really good layers like Leghorns (those commercial white ones), but what you're looking for is a "dual-purpose" breed, but with good egg production also.
There are so many, but my list goes something like:
Brahma
Orphington
Rhode Island Red
Plymouth Rock

These are good layers, but being heavy bodied birds they don't loose a lot of weight during their laying life, and still make a decent stewer. They also grow fast enough you can raise them strictly for meat, too.

That's my 2-cents, anyway, and you get what you pay for.
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2012, 02:32:54 PM »
These are all brown egg layers too right?     

All I want is about three laying hens and a rooster.    With just hubby who eats eggs ( I bake with them too) ... I dont want to drown in eggs. 

WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2012, 02:44:17 PM »
I want to build this.  :)   This should be big enough for four birds..right?



WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2012, 02:44:44 PM »
These are all brown egg layers too right?     

All I want is about three laying hens and a rooster.    With just hubby who eats eggs ( I bake with them too) ... I dont want to drown in eggs. 

WW.
My first reaction would be the Brahmas. I like their personalities. Get 2 more than you want, and if they all survive you can always butcher the excess.
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2012, 02:51:34 PM »
Do you guys order from big name chicken hatcheries ?

WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2012, 02:55:53 PM »
Personally, I don't. I tell the owner of the local feed store what I want, and then he deals with the breeder, the shipping and calls me when they arrive.
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2012, 09:32:58 PM »
Mmm..I didnt think of that.     I will have to aquaint myself with a local feed store again.  The one we dealt with has changed hands and do large loads only.   

WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2012, 10:39:11 PM »
Mmm..I didnt think of that.     I will have to aquaint myself with a local feed store again.  The one we dealt with has changed hands and do large loads only.   

WW.
Feed stores can be great resources. We get everything from herbal remedies, to bulk pepper corns, to dog food through ours.
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Offline Binalith

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2012, 06:23:52 AM »
when I lived in FL we had 38 chickens and they would all slow production by 90% in cold weather.

Offline wannabe

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2012, 07:05:59 AM »
My in-laws live in a modest suburban home. They do have a nice back yard measuring approximately 60'x250'. They keep 20+ chickens, 20+ rabbits, have had sheep, goats and a very infamous COW one year. That's when the poop hit the fan. They got ratted out to the city by a neighbour and had to get rid of the whole lot.

Now they only have the chickens and rabbits. They have had rats, fox and coyotes take the birds and last year I came across the carcass of a huge hawk or eagle(not sure, its head was gone) lying near the coop.

It's like a garden of Eden for my kids. There are 10 different fruit trees, every berry under the sun and a vegetable garden anybody would be proud of. They live almost entirely off the grid. We always say that when the nukes start flying, that's where we'll run to as we could survive for a while up there. When I talk to my friends about it they think my in-laws must live out in the country, it's hilarious to see all this next to strip malls, parking lots and side by side houses with swimming pools.

PS. they have had a bumper crop of eggs in the last month, more than they, their entire family and friends can handle at the moment.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2012, 09:17:50 AM »
It's amazing what you can do with a little land. Rabbits are the #1 efficient meat producers (feed-to-meat ratio) there is. Actually I guess Guinea Pigs are more efficient, but I'd rather eat rabbit.  :P
Most suburban areas will let a person keep rabbits and chickens, but no "livestock". We lived out in the county in WA, so we were able to raise a couple hogs.
 
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Offline trentu

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2012, 03:55:29 AM »
We have 9. 8 hens and one very proud rooster. Our mix is Dominiques and Road Island Reds. We get 7-8 eggs a day usually but now about 5 because they are molting. They free range after we get home from work only because they like to landscape more than we do. :)
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2012, 09:30:29 AM »
... They free range after we get home from work only because they like to landscape more than we do. :)
That's why chicken tractors are so neat, if you can manage one.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Babies arrived!
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2012, 06:31:03 AM »
We got our new crop of layers and fryers yesterday. They're getting settled in.
We had an unusually high mortality rate among the Cornish this time. Lost 4 of them within 12 hours.  >:( The might have been too young when shipped, I don't know.
We got:
5 Americana
5 Australorps
1 Australorp rooster
15 Cornish X as meat birds.

Small operation, but we'll get another 15-20 Cornish in a couple more months.


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Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: Babies arrived!
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2012, 02:49:38 PM »
We got our new crop of layers and fryers yesterday. They're getting settled in.
We had an unusually high mortality rate among the Cornish this time. Lost 4 of them within 12 hours.  >:( The might have been too young when shipped, I don't know.
We got:
5 Americana
5 Australorps
1 Australorp rooster
15 Cornish X as meat birds.

Small operation, but we'll get another 15-20 Cornish in a couple more months.




Nice new flock, I'm going to be adding a hald dozen 18 week old golden comets in a couple of months.  Its a little pricier than chicks, but they will be laying in no time and the supplier has a really good reutation for raising health birds.

Thats especially important when you are introducing new birds into a flock. I learned that the hard way.
Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? One should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.

Offline Smokewalker

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2012, 04:11:38 PM »
Hit em with a weed torch & you got chicken nuggets ;D
"Theres allot of learnin under this hat son." "Boy use what ya kin see and quit tryin a see what ya kin use." Grand pa Jesse- A real Cowboy

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2012, 08:32:25 PM »
Hit em with a weed torch & you got chicken nuggets ;D
I didn't have to.....  :-\ :( >:(
We have lost 14 out of 26 in the first 48 hours!  We usually buy and raise 2 day old chicks in lots of 25. The most we have ever lost over the past 2 years is 4 out of a batch. This is absolutely nuts!!!!!  Mostly it was the Cornish Xs. They dropped like flies!

I never took any stock in superstitions like Friday the Thirteenth, but THIS Friday 13th, I ended up sitting in the ER at the hospital with my wife at 8:30 in the morning (55 miles away from home), picked up the chicks that afternoon, and 9 of them were dead by morning.  WTH?????
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2012, 08:59:59 PM »
OP.  First off.. I hope your wife is ok?

Second..  I've heard of two others having alot of casualties in the meat bird orders.  One fella who's been raising chickens for years and years lost over half his order too.    The other gal lost about a third of her order.   

WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2012, 09:12:33 PM »
OP.  First off.. I hope your wife is ok?

Second..  I've heard of two others having alot of casualties in the meat bird orders.  One fella who's been raising chickens for years and years lost over half his order too.    The other gal lost about a third of her order.   

WW.
I don't have a way that I know of to test these birds, but it's making me wonder. If the breeders are shipping out sick birds, I'm gonna be more that pissed if my adult birds catch something and start dying off. Worse yet, it better not be contagious to humans!

It would be interesting to know the source of the birds, if your friends had a bad experience this year, too.
Do you know what breed of meat birds those folks got?
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2012, 09:25:33 PM »
No I dont.. we just call them the 'meat birds' .  I can see if I can catch up with them and ask this week.


I too would be torked...       no way to keep them seperated from adults?


WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2012, 10:12:36 PM »
They're separated in their nursery by wire, but not in quarantine.
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Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2012, 05:45:57 AM »
Given how many you lost, I would put a few drops of chlorine bleach in the water supply of the new guys as well as your older birds.

It may help and it can't hurt, you don't want them reinfecting each other.

Also, are you feeding the chicks medicated feed or plain old starter?

It really stinks to get that level of mortality.

And most importantly, I hope your wife is doing well. 
Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? One should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2012, 09:20:18 AM »
I don't usually medicate new chicks, but after the initial loss I put them on a combination of antibiotics and electrolytes (for dehydration). Only 3 succumbed after that.

Thanks for the concerns about the better half. She's still kickin'...
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Offline Smokewalker

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2012, 09:26:56 AM »
This is just a thought you may want to contact the breeder or contact the local USDA office in HIS district and voice your concern about the issue. The breeder may not even know there is a problem. I'm glad the Mrs got her Boot un stuck :rolleyes: 
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2012, 11:03:34 AM »
I'm with Smokewalker on this one.. call and let who you bought those chicks from know whats going on.  Tell them this isnt your first rodeo with birds.. so its not the purchasers fault.     

I know one of the online sites was suggesting paying for a shot for all chicks before they ship them out.   But what it was for I didnt read on it far enough I guess.

Do you know of others in your area that have picked up chicks from this seller?   

WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2012, 01:23:59 PM »
I don't usually medicate new chicks, but after the initial loss I put them on a combination of antibiotics and electrolytes (for dehydration). Only 3 succumbed after that.

Thanks for the concerns about the better half. She's still kickin'...

I hear you on refraining from medicating new chicks, but having been burned like you were with sick birds, I now start any birds I haven't hatched on site with medicated feed for a week or two.  And I keep them isolated during that period.

Loosing a bunch of good layers to disease brought in from the outside sucks big time. 

Glad your better half is OK.
Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? One should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.

Offline trentu

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2012, 04:03:39 AM »
Our adult birds started picking each other. Couple of the hens are bald as ever on their backs. They have never done it before. I'm starting to wonder about Friday the 13th as well!
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #36 on: April 20, 2012, 09:30:47 AM »
Our adult birds started picking each other. Couple of the hens are bald as ever on their backs. They have never done it before. I'm starting to wonder about Friday the 13th as well!
Something is stressing them. Changes in feed? New predator in the area (new curious pet)?
Sometimes coating the affected birds' bald spots with Vaseline will keep the other birds from pecking there anymore.
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #37 on: April 20, 2012, 10:11:43 AM »
I agree with OP...   smear those chickens.     Its a catch 22 after they get bald back there.   The little blood spots from pulled feathers keeps the others thinking they need to peck at it.     If you can find the biggest agressors in the bunch..seperate them until feathers grow back.   

I miss having chickens... ***sigh***

WW. 
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline wolfy

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #38 on: April 20, 2012, 10:30:40 AM »
My Mom always kept a bottle of pine tar to dab on those picked spots.  It has a healing quality like turpentine and has a tendency to create a protective 'shell' at the same time.
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Offline mibuwulf

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #39 on: April 20, 2012, 10:34:24 AM »
I used to have 7 hens.  Dont remember the names of them, but I was big into them while I had them plus a random silver pheasant that was taken by a fox the very same night I got it.  Eventually they were all taken by the fox(es), I'm sure there were at least 3.  I know one was a Rhode Island Red, two leghorns, two orpingtons and forgot the other two.  Pink, white, brown and blue eggs galore.

Our red started plucking herself for no apparent reason, then she stopped and it all grew back.

Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #40 on: April 20, 2012, 10:50:23 AM »
I thought of something else too. .  They may have a bad case of mites.   Are they able to take a good dust bath in thier confinement?    If not..  a small childs swimming pool with dirt and sand in it will help.  The dryer the better. 

Some put a powder in it for detering/killing the tiny bugs.. but for the life of me I cant think of the name right now.

WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #41 on: April 20, 2012, 11:49:35 AM »
I thought of something else too. .  They may have a bad case of mites.   Are they able to take a good dust bath in thier confinement?    If not..  a small childs swimming pool with dirt and sand in it will help.  The dryer the better. 

Some put a powder in it for detering/killing the tiny bugs.. but for the life of me I cant think of the name right now.

WW.
This brings up an issue I've never had to face: health problems.
A mite dust is available you can dust right on the birds, like you would use insecticide dust on plants. That will  help the birds immediately. But the big issue, if they are 'house bound', and have no access to dust baths, etc., (which is always a problem in the winter), the chance of pests infecting the birds is high.

A coop should be cleaned out at least twice, preferably 3x per year. With the birds locked outside in their yard, once the coop is cleaned, spray it down THOROUGHLY with a water/bleach spray. A pressure garden sprayer works great, but even a hand held squeeze trigger bottle can be used. One guy uses a hose-end sprayer, putting straight bleach in the spray bottle and letting the sprayer dilute it as he sprays. Let the coop dry out for a few hours before letting the birds back in.
The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.

Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #42 on: April 20, 2012, 01:45:02 PM »
When I was first into chickens... the bare back was a problem.  My mistake were too many Roosters.   Eliminated all but one and gave the girls a break from the last one for awhile and the problem went away.    Lesson learned. :)

And my second problem was broken eggs in the nesting area.   That one took awhile to solve.  SHE was a good soup! 

WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.

Offline Smokewalker

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #43 on: April 20, 2012, 02:03:40 PM »
When I was first into chickens... the bare back was a problem.  My mistake were too many Roosters.   Eliminated all but one and gave the girls a break from the last one for awhile and the problem went away.    Lesson learned. :)

And my second problem was broken eggs in the nesting area.   That one took awhile to solve.  SHE was a good soup! 

WW.
:rofl: That reminds me of my granny.
"Theres allot of learnin under this hat son." "Boy use what ya kin see and quit tryin a see what ya kin use." Grand pa Jesse- A real Cowboy

Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #44 on: April 20, 2012, 02:08:43 PM »
When I was first into chickens... the bare back was a problem.  My mistake were too many Roosters.   Eliminated all but one and gave the girls a break from the last one for awhile and the problem went away.    Lesson learned. :)

And my second problem was broken eggs in the nesting area.   That one took awhile to solve.  SHE was a good soup! 

WW.
:rofl: That reminds me of my granny.
You made soup out of your Grandmother??? Man, you're hard core! ;)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 02:10:51 PM by Old Philosopher »
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Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #45 on: April 20, 2012, 03:49:56 PM »
I thought of something else too. .  They may have a bad case of mites.   Are they able to take a good dust bath in thier confinement?    If not..  a small childs swimming pool with dirt and sand in it will help.  The dryer the better. 

Some put a powder in it for detering/killing the tiny bugs.. but for the life of me I cant think of the name right now.

WW.
This brings up an issue I've never had to face: health problems.
A mite dust is available you can dust right on the birds, like you would use insecticide dust on plants. That will  help the birds immediately. But the big issue, if they are 'house bound', and have no access to dust baths, etc., (which is always a problem in the winter), the chance of pests infecting the birds is high.

A coop should be cleaned out at least twice, preferably 3x per year. With the birds locked outside in their yard, once the coop is cleaned, spray it down THOROUGHLY with a water/bleach spray. A pressure garden sprayer works great, but even a hand held squeeze trigger bottle can be used. One guy uses a hose-end sprayer, putting straight bleach in the spray bottle and letting the sprayer dilute it as he sprays. Let the coop dry out for a few hours before letting the birds back in.

If it is mites, dust them with Diatomaceous earth, then dust the coop. DT is non-toxic to the birds and harmless to you if you use a dust mask when you handle it.
Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? One should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.

Offline trentu

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #46 on: April 21, 2012, 05:01:46 AM »
Thanks for all the tips. I thought it was mites at first as well but never found any. Our dogs may be stressing them out or the crazy weather we have been getting. I will smear them down today. Our vet has some green stuff too that you can spray on them. Might try that once if the vaseline don't work. All good advice. Thanks everyone.
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Mystery
« Reply #47 on: June 02, 2012, 01:48:11 PM »
Has anyone had any experience with a hen upchucking the contents of their crop all over their breast?

This was beyond weird. One of my hens had her breast covered with yellow goo that appeared to be identical to what you find in a chicken's crop.

Any input would be appreciated.

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Offline Wounded Thumb

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #48 on: June 02, 2012, 04:08:14 PM »
Do any of you chicken keepers have any experience with coating the eggs in mineral oil and storing them out of a refrigerator?
I saw this on an episode of Doomsday Preppers, I believe she said it was mineral oil.
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: Calling all chicken pluckers!
« Reply #49 on: June 02, 2012, 07:42:57 PM »
OP... our neighbor had a hen that did that.   They butchered her and did some investigating... there was a piece of wire sideways in her gizzard.  :(        There were alot of stones in there too...and after asking a vet about it the vet thought that the hen knew there was problems and ate more and more 'grit' to undo what was going on in the Gizzard.

I've heard of waxing eggs...  but not mineral oil.    Did your show say how long the eggs could be stored like that?   I'm assuming in a cool dark place too right?

WW.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good.