Lily update – crops, flocks, and the effect of stress on feathers

April 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

Lily is now back outside with her flock. I kept an eye on her to make sure that: a/ she didn’t get beaten up by her erst-while flockmates; and b/ she didn’t immediately re-stuff her crop by gorging on grass. All good on both counts.

But there is something weird to notice. Her new feathers (which are coming through nicely now) all have a very definite series of white stripes through them! Very fine, but unmistakably there. Presumably a stress-response from her crop impaction? I know she hadn’t eaten anything (or at least hadn’t managed to get any food from her crop into her digestive system) for a good couple of days before we intervened, but it may have been even worse than we had realised. So the check in nutrition shows up as a lack of pigmentation in the feathers that were forming at that time. Very strange! (And fascinating!)

I’ll try to get a photo of it, but at the moment she is (understandably) a little wary of me …

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