Dodgy tail feathers

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Ben_H

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Dodgy tail feathers
« on: August 09, 2011, 07:11 »
Was going to try this one as spot the difference but couldn't upload two pictures together of high enough quality and post was rejected. So, starting again....

Matilda our Cotswold Legbar (apprx 20 weeks old) had a lovely smooth, perky, fan shaped tail which can be seen on my recent "post your poultry pictures here" reply #1090 at the bottom of first or last page depending on how you order your reading of posts.

She now has a much shorter, scraggly tail and I'm finding what are probably her tail feathers spread around the run.

I noticed the difference after a day of absolutely foul weather last week and had thought she's just got it wet however it has not improved. Is this likely to be pecking by the other birds? Although I haven't managed to spend a lot of time with them in the last week I haven't noticed a lot of pecking.

Below is a photo of her current style though when I open it up it doesn't look as bad on the screen as it does in real life.



Matilda tail.jpg
« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 07:13 by Ben_H »

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peap0d

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Re: Dodgy tail feathers
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2011, 08:23 »
I would love to know the answer to this. I have the same problem with the same breed hen!

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Nicki85

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Re: Dodgy tail feathers
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2011, 08:59 »
Yup another one here with the same breed and same problem!

Delia has never had a tail, Doreen had a tail then lost it and it has now regrown a little bit.

I've had a good look at both of them and they both have a large number of feathers coming through  :happy:  But it is clear that someone (there two Burford Brown sisters I suspect) are pecking them still, just below the new feather growth.  It is hard to explain because we never see anything and we have been spying on them!  I did notice that they have a couple of broken feathers in their tails which were bleeding (very very short feathers more like shafts) so i've got some purple spray so that if it is the others then they should be put off.  But again, there was no one chasing her trying to peck her. 

Hm it's an odd one... even odder hearing others have the same problem with this breed!  I might try taking some close up pics tonight.

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Ben_H

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Re: Dodgy tail feathers
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2011, 10:00 »
Yup another one here with the same breed and same problem!

Delia has never had a tail, Doreen had a tail then lost it and it has now regrown a little bit.

I've had a good look at both of them and they both have a large number of feathers coming through  :happy:  But it is clear that someone (there two Burford Brown sisters I suspect) are pecking them still, just below the new feather growth.  It is hard to explain because we never see anything and we have been spying on them!  I did notice that they have a couple of broken feathers in their tails which were bleeding (very very short feathers more like shafts) so i've got some purple spray so that if it is the others then they should be put off.  But again, there was no one chasing her trying to peck her. 

Hm it's an odd one... even odder hearing others have the same problem with this breed!  I might try taking some close up pics tonight.

You want to be careful, I've seen people flamed on other sites for suggesting the Cotswold Legbar is a breed  ;)

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Nicki85

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Re: Dodgy tail feathers
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2011, 10:36 »
Meh, breed/ type tis all the same is it not  :tongue2:  (hides under desk  :nowink: )

Yup another one here with the same breed and same problem!

Delia has never had a tail, Doreen had a tail then lost it and it has now regrown a little bit.

I've had a good look at both of them and they both have a large number of feathers coming through  :happy:  But it is clear that someone (there two Burford Brown sisters I suspect) are pecking them still, just below the new feather growth.  It is hard to explain because we never see anything and we have been spying on them!  I did notice that they have a couple of broken feathers in their tails which were bleeding (very very short feathers more like shafts) so i've got some purple spray so that if it is the others then they should be put off.  But again, there was no one chasing her trying to peck her.  

Hm it's an odd one... even odder hearing others have the same problem with this breed!  I might try taking some close up pics tonight.

You want to be careful, I've seen people flamed on other sites for suggesting the Cotswold Legbar is a breed  ;)

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Casey76

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Re: Dodgy tail feathers
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2011, 12:27 »
It just looks as though she is ready to moult :)

My hens (not this years pullets) are looking decidedly raggy around the edges ;)

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darkbrowneggs

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Re: Dodgy tail feathers
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2011, 12:48 »
Hi there,

I have never kept Cotswold Legbars, but I do know that some hybrids have a propensity to feather pick.  I would guess that although this can be a genetic trait, it will be exacerbated by the need for extra protein experienced by young, still growing pullets which are about to lay eggs, so try and work out a way for them to get a higher level of protein in their diet.  

If they are on layers pellets this is minimal protein stuff, and even growers seems a bit low for that very difficult stage between feather growing and egg laying.

The other thing which can cause it is boredom, so if they don't get good free range try hanging up a cabbage or sweetcorn on  string so it is just out of reach and they have to jump up a little tiny bit for it.  This gives them something to do and also some exercise.

Are they laying yet?  I keep hearing wonderful things about the eggs, and would love to see photos when you have the time.

All the best
Sue
I love my traditional clean legged English Cuckoo Marans

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Ben_H

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Re: Dodgy tail feathers
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2011, 15:47 »
No eggs as yet, I purposefully went for a couple of legbars due to the egg colour. OUr cotswold was a lucky find, we were going to get a CLB anyway but the breeder had a cotswold hatch with all the CLB eggs.

Am currently feeding on growers with a bit of layers mixed in as was uncertain of age. (long story, not cleared up)

They have a variety of brassica leaves strung up in the run plus they seem to enjoy eating the hawthorn and hazel leaves from the hedge. I'm interested in the CD idea but sadly AOL seem to have stopped giving out freebies in my area  ;)

I do have a problem with where to hang stuff for them though as I've been told not to string lines across the run or garden birds will sit on them and poo on the hens.

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Nicki85

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Re: Dodgy tail feathers
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2011, 16:06 »
Mine both lay eggs  :tongue2:  Not for very long tho- they have only been laying for about two months.


Doreen lays every day (under the hen house... why????) and lays a double-yoker every week  :tongue2: Her eggs range from blue- white.

Delia we have had trouble with... but things are looking up *fingers crossed*.  If she manages to lay a hard egg it is usually a bit bluer than Doreens.  

I'll take some pics when I get home  :D

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Lindeggs

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Re: Dodgy tail feathers
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2011, 23:37 »
How about this for a theory:  8)

How far are their roosting bars away from the coop walls?  Is it possible that when they go to bed at night their tails are forced against the walls?

I have a Barred Rock with a lovely fan-shaped tail like that (technically a 'fault' but I like it).  When she goes to bed she crouches and tucks her tail down so it sticks straight out from her body.  When she stands up there is room for her tail, but when she is roosting in this crouched position her tail is forced against the coop wall. 

It is leaving her tail feathers very tatty, even though we're only in late winter so her feathers are newer than your girls.

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Nicki85

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Re: Dodgy tail feathers
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2011, 08:53 »
Ohhh I think you might be on to something there  :D  I'm going to have a sneaky peak tonight and see if that is happening to my girls  :dry:

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Casey76

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Re: Dodgy tail feathers
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2011, 10:12 »
Hi Ben, I hope you're not expecting your cotswold legbar to produce blue eggs... only cream legbars do that ;)

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Ben_H

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Re: Dodgy tail feathers
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2011, 18:02 »
@Lindeggs - good suggestion but at the moment they're all facing the wall.

@Casey 76 - I hope so indeed as have bought Clarence court eggs in Sainsbury's:

http://www.clarencecourt.co.uk/our-range/cotswolds-legbar/

and if you look at the legbars of broadway page: http://www.legbarsofbroadway.co.uk/the%20cotswold%20legbar/

I'll be really peeved if not!
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 18:05 by Ben_H »

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Casey76

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Re: Dodgy tail feathers
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2011, 18:26 »
These legbars  ::)

Even on the web page, they state that blue eggs are not guaranteed.  BTW, the photos on the right hand side of the page (where the hen is running) is of a cream legbar and is not a cotswold legbar (a legbar being a cross between a leghorn cockerel and a barred rock hen)

While the cream legbar is guaranteed to produce a blue or green egg (depending on the strain), the cotswold legbar is not "and they are laid in beautiful pastel colours; eau-de-nil, olive and turquoise, often sky blue, pink and peach."  The chances of getting sky blue eggs is acutally quite small.

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Ben_H

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Re: Dodgy tail feathers
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2011, 19:36 »
yep, i know they're not guaranteed and some even lay pink tinted eggs but i have a CLB too so will get some blue eggs at least  :)
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 19:38 by Ben_H »



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