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What is wrong with my hen??

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Previously 2 of our hens had bare backs from our rooster. We purchased some chicken coats and their feathers grew back nice and thick. They look great! Today as I was cleaning the coop I noticed a huge pile of feather in the corner of the coop under where they sleep. I inspected the hens close and noticed one of my black sex links was missing feathers under her tail. Any idea what this is? She had never looked ratty like this before and they are about a 1 1/2 years old. So they haven't molted yet. Could that be it? It worries me because it's getting cold and snowed a bit yesterday. Please help!



post #2 of 6

I really don't know.  Was this gradual, or sudden?

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Sudden. None of my other hens look like this either.
post #4 of 6
It's probably a molt, the more productive the hen the harder the molt, the good thing is they grow back faster, keep your protein levels up to help her regrow them faster.
Edited by oldhenlikesdogs - 12/30/15 at 12:32pm
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #5 of 6

Molting feather loss looks different from feather picking loss. With molting, upon close inspection, you'll see evenly spaced pin feathers emerging in discrete areas of the body, since molt usually proceeds in a systematic manner.

 

Feather loss due to feather picking or cannibalism is almost the direct opposite. You'll see nude areas with no pin feathers. Or you'll see nude areas of skin with bloody or broken pin feathers and shafts and ragged, broken feathers.

 

From your description and the age of your chickens, it is probably molt. And yes, some chickens seem to pick the inopportune time of the coldest part of the winter in which to molt. The good news is that the cold weather will stimulate new feather growth and your hen should have a new suit of feathers in close to no time at all.

post #6 of 6

You have depluming mites that live either inside the feather quill or else in the feather follicle.   Do not bother looking for them, they are to small to be seen with the naked eye.  Search this sight for answers.

Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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