Three older hens are caged together in one cage with corn cob liter on the floor bottom. At least one of the hens has committed a serious crime, tail feather robbery! After making sure no bleeding feather stubs need to be removed from the victim, I have one question: Who Done It? Was It Colonel Mustard In The Library With The Candlestick Or Perhaps Miss Peacock In The Conservatory With The Revolver? I Don't Have A Clue?
Prime Suspect has a hot and red full abdomen with a protruding rounded vent that is flashing open and closed (winking)!
Suspect #2 has a slightly developed abdomen and appears to be several weeks from breeding.
Prime Suspect has been moved in with Richey! A couple of things could happen either she may get mad at him if he isn't ready for mating and start a fight or she may slow down and wait on him. I will be watching closely to make sure she does not attack him! I do not want her to lay yet because I am attending the Missouri Valley Basketball Tournament in St. Louis March 6 - 9 (Go Wichita State Shockers!). Therefore, I am not providing her with a nest as giving her a nest encourages her to proceed toward laying.
Just checking on Richey and the new gal to see if I need to put in a wire divider to get this romance started and the new gal is feeding Richey. Guess its love at first sight!
Time Saving Side Note Tip:
When I am overstocked on hens and ready to set up a few but not all and I don't want to catch each one to figure out which to pair, I put a nest in the hen flight and catch only the ones that are seriously interested in the nest and if there are still to many hens ready, I pick the ones with the hottest abdomen.
Just in case Suspect #2 is an accomplice, I added a few strips on newspaper. Suspect #2 readily took to the paper strips and at least if she sits on the floor she is not pulling feathers! Not taking any chances on innocent till proven guilty!
Lucca says Go Seahawks! Why Seahawks, cause there the underDOGS!
I have a hen who never grow tail feathers, now think maybe her sister is pulling them out.
What to do if tail feathers don't regrow?
Also, two males have huge fat deposits on either side of vent. Will this impede vent development or fertility? I cannot get their fat to reduce.
Usually the feathers regrow within six weeks if the whole feather is lost. Check and make sure she does not have broken feathers or short stubs as those would not be replaced til a full molt.
To reduce take away perches except one high and one low. Make sure food or water is high and the low to make them fly. Feed more low calorie food such as greens and drop high oil seeds such as sunflower etc. Feed a pelleted diet or just petamine with water and greens. A big fat layer can be a physical barrier to fertility.
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