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Chicken Plucking It's Own Feathers? Please Help!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

For the past couple weeks I've been noticing feathers on the ground and in the coop... but I haven't really noticed anything on the chickens... well today I went out and my one chickens had feathers missing from underneath her belly... and on her back... both of there were 2 pretty big patches and her tail feathers are majorly thinned out and the WHOLE bottom of the coop is covered in feathers.  I don't notice any of the others really doing this to themselves!  And I don't know if they are doing this to her or if it is herself, but I don't see how they'd peck her belly?  Please Help what do I do... what do I look for to find out whats wrong?!? 

I have 6 cochin chickens and 1 silkie rooster they are 6 mths - 3years old.  They are kept in a coop with a run @ night and during the day they are allowed to roam our property.

We also have 7 ducks and 2 geese but they are kept completely separate.

~Loving my simple country life~
~6 Cochin Hens ~ 1 Silkie Rooster ~ 8 Silkie Peeps~ 5 Rouen Ducks ~ 2 Khaki Campbells ~ 2 Toulouse Geese
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~Loving my simple country life~
~6 Cochin Hens ~ 1 Silkie Rooster ~ 8 Silkie Peeps~ 5 Rouen Ducks ~ 2 Khaki Campbells ~ 2 Toulouse Geese
Reply
post #2 of 12

Is this hen laying? A high change is that its moulting (loosing feathers) or going broody (when a hen wants to sit on eggs, but they wont loose any on their back, surely?!) Personally I would say moulting- but they may be a little too young to be moulting (well the 6month olds)

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself. ~Harvey Fierstein
Had chickens for 2,499 days! -And counting!
Information on Fowl Pox, Coccidiosis & Mareks Disease.
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Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself. ~Harvey Fierstein
Had chickens for 2,499 days! -And counting!
Information on Fowl Pox, Coccidiosis & Mareks Disease.
Reply
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Yes, this is a laying hen.  She is 3- 4 years old though.  And at closer examination it looks more like they are falling out... when I went to pick her up then feathers were just coming out.  She has been broody... she set on a egg this summer and the chick is about 6 mths old.  I just don't know if it's lice or mites or something... I keep  the coop sure clean though and none of the other chickens seem to have anything on their skin... her skin is bug free from what I saw and I cleaned the whole coop and didn't see a single creepy crawler... she has about a 2" patch on her belly and on her back and she isn't near as "fluffy" as she usually is... and she has like no tail feathers now...

~Loving my simple country life~
~6 Cochin Hens ~ 1 Silkie Rooster ~ 8 Silkie Peeps~ 5 Rouen Ducks ~ 2 Khaki Campbells ~ 2 Toulouse Geese
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~Loving my simple country life~
~6 Cochin Hens ~ 1 Silkie Rooster ~ 8 Silkie Peeps~ 5 Rouen Ducks ~ 2 Khaki Campbells ~ 2 Toulouse Geese
Reply
post #4 of 12

Does your chicken look like this?:

http://www.newprotest.org/details.pl?1274

They look awful, but it is completely natural. If you don't see others pecking on her, or lice or mites, it's molting. It would be good to up their protein level--with game bird feed or high protein treats.

post #5 of 12

she's probably molting.  I have several who are losing a few feathers here and there in patches, but I have one hen who looks like a cartoon hen that got exsploded out of a feather pillow.  She's a total mess, and she's the only one that looks like that.  I wouldn't worry if you've looked her over and she doesn't have any vermin on her.

Chickens In The Road A Great friend's site with great photography, stories and recipes for living a full life!

The only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions
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Chickens In The Road A Great friend's site with great photography, stories and recipes for living a full life!

The only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

She kinda looks like that pic... but she isn't missing feather on her neck so much... She is mostly missing feathers under her belly and just a patch on her back... and he tail is usually puffy... but there is like 4 little feathers sticking out.  Can chickens molt when they are 3-4 years old?

Do you think I should worm the chickens, or dust them for mites or anything... just incase?  I never have before... should this be something i should start?

~Loving my simple country life~
~6 Cochin Hens ~ 1 Silkie Rooster ~ 8 Silkie Peeps~ 5 Rouen Ducks ~ 2 Khaki Campbells ~ 2 Toulouse Geese
Reply
~Loving my simple country life~
~6 Cochin Hens ~ 1 Silkie Rooster ~ 8 Silkie Peeps~ 5 Rouen Ducks ~ 2 Khaki Campbells ~ 2 Toulouse Geese
Reply
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaceek 

Can chickens molt when they are 3-4 years old?


Absolutely.

Do you see any new little "porcupine quills" coming out in the bare spots yet?

JJ

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" ~Ghandhi

"Procrastinate now. Don't put it off." ~Ellen Degeneres
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"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" ~Ghandhi

"Procrastinate now. Don't put it off." ~Ellen Degeneres
Reply
post #8 of 12

No matter what the age of the chicken is, they will moult smile

The chicken will do different parts first, so may do wings, then back etc.. until all her feathers have grown back, otherwise you'll have a bald chicken for a while

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself. ~Harvey Fierstein
Had chickens for 2,499 days! -And counting!
Information on Fowl Pox, Coccidiosis & Mareks Disease.
Reply
Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself. ~Harvey Fierstein
Had chickens for 2,499 days! -And counting!
Information on Fowl Pox, Coccidiosis & Mareks Disease.
Reply
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

yea, lots of them on her back...not so much on her belly!

is that a sign of molting and that the feathers r coming back in?!?!

~Loving my simple country life~
~6 Cochin Hens ~ 1 Silkie Rooster ~ 8 Silkie Peeps~ 5 Rouen Ducks ~ 2 Khaki Campbells ~ 2 Toulouse Geese
Reply
~Loving my simple country life~
~6 Cochin Hens ~ 1 Silkie Rooster ~ 8 Silkie Peeps~ 5 Rouen Ducks ~ 2 Khaki Campbells ~ 2 Toulouse Geese
Reply
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaceek 

yea, lots of them on her back...not so much on her belly!

is that a sign of molting and that the feathers r coming back in?!?!


Yes, if you're referring to the "porcupine quills" - those are the new feathers coming in....smile

Give her extra good nutrition - protein - to help her through. Molting is a lot of work (takes a lot of energy). I offer egg (mine hate it but lots of other hens like it), a bit of high quality cat food (not too much because of salt content), yogurt, sunflower seeds (every day of the year for those), etc. you can use the 'search' tool about and type in topics like molt, molting, feather loss..and get lots of good info.
JJ

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" ~Ghandhi

"Procrastinate now. Don't put it off." ~Ellen Degeneres
Reply
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" ~Ghandhi

"Procrastinate now. Don't put it off." ~Ellen Degeneres
Reply
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