To trim or to pluck?

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To trim or to pluck?

Postby eae » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:54 pm

3 of my 6 week old Houdans desperately need help with their head feathering. The feathers are growing in front of their eyes, almost completely obscuring their vision. You can walk right up to them and put your hand about 5cm away from their heads before they finally figure out you're there. I watched one trying to dash away from the grown birds with a piece of meat last night, and ran straight into the side of the run (they were outside it, doh).

I've read differing views on plucking vs. trimming and I really can't tell if one method is preferable to the other.
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Re: To trim or to pluck?

Postby seatil » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:10 pm

I trim our Houdan. She ends up with an Araucana style punk rocker hair do. The only thing I watch out for are the pin feathers - ones that still have a blood supply in them. I can't imagine plucking them - it sounds like torture!
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Re: To trim or to pluck?

Postby eae » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:54 pm

Ok - trimming it is. I'll at least trim enough to give them a forward and a little upward view. They're still so small it'll be quite tricky with the feathers being tiny - but hopefully at least they'll be easier to cut through.
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Re: To trim or to pluck?

Postby Kracka » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:54 pm

I've got Pekin bantams & if you want to get fertile eggs you have to 'crutch' them - I trim, as I am pretty sure it hurts when you pull the feathers out - the trouble I have is to make sure they don't end up with prickly bums!
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Re: To trim or to pluck?

Postby seatil » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:58 pm

Kracka wrote:I've got Pekin bantams & if you want to get fertile eggs you have to 'crutch' them - I trim, as I am pretty sure it hurts when you pull the feathers out - the trouble I have is to make sure they don't end up with prickly bums!


Oh man, I soooo have this mental image of "hedgehog bantams" now... :shock: :lol: :roll:
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Re: To trim or to pluck?

Postby AlisonS » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:49 am

How did the trimming go? I have a very blind houdan, too. I've tried trimming but must have stopped too soon as it didn't work. I can see how you'd end up with an " Araucana style punk rocker hairdo!"
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Re: To trim or to pluck?

Postby Marina » Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:10 am

On the head I would trim, not pluck. Use very sharp nail scissors or similar. Tin snips work surprisingly well, too.

I recently had a trimmed Silkie on loan and he looked pretty cool with his fountain of feathers on his head.
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Re: To trim or to pluck?

Postby eae » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:55 pm

I finally had time to chase them down this morning. The feathers were so soft and small I was able to use sharp kitchen scissors. I too find tin snips work well on mucky bum feathers of the big birds :lol: I did't want to go overboard on the trimming, so did a minimal amount thinking I can always go further if need be.

Going by head feathering, I think we have 3 pullets out of 7, and 2 of 5 in my faverolles. So, could be better, but also could be much worse. I'm happy to at least have 2 of each.

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Re: To trim or to pluck?

Postby Kracka » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:23 am

very nice!
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Re: To trim or to pluck?

Postby sewren » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:43 am

Ha ha - I love this so much! For some reason I can't look at those photos and not giggle :)
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Re: To trim or to pluck?

Postby Foehn » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:47 am

I trimmed one of mine too. There was every advantage to me to leave her "blindfolded" but as my girls free range, I didn't want to risk having a free loading hawk pick her up, so it was a safety measure for her. Now of course I can't just walk up to her and scoop her up. :roll:
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Re: To trim or to pluck?

Postby eae » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:27 am

That was exactly the reason I wanted to trim ours.. it is a pain not being able to pick them up quite as easily!
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