10 month old Welsummer w/feather loss around head & neck

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by speralta, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. speralta

    speralta New Egg

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    Feb 12, 2011
    Hi all,

    This is my first post here. I have a 10-month old Welsummer who has had some feather loss around the head and neck. I would chalk it up to moulting, except I think she is too young. She was a decent layer - 4-5 eggs per week until winter, but she has stopped entirely. It gets pretty dark here, and it's not too unusual for birds to stop their production.

    Relevant history: She hasn't laid at all since early November. Prior to stopping egg production, she had a couple of eggs over a 2 month period with some spotting.

    - I have a total of 4 hens (no roos).
    - No other birds show sign of distress, but I saw some dusty white flakes on a recently added (10/28/11) Black Copper Marans (anyone know what that could be?)
    - This bird gets along w/all other members of the flock and has never shown signs of being pecked or picked on.
    - Birds are free ranging in the day, cooped at night w/5 sqft of space per bird in coop.
    - I have a heat lamp that I run for an hour or so in the morning & again at night on cold days. (I live in Oregon. Temperatures in winter to date have been between mid-20's and mid-40's all winter.
    - Birds get a touch of apple cider vinegar in their water to reduce Salmonella & other bacteria.
    - I have de-wormed these birds twice -- once at around 12 weeks and again at 9-10 months.
    - I put diatomaceous earth on floor of coop and in places where they do dust baths fairly regularly.
    - Bird is eating & drinking normally. Can't say what her poop looks like.

    Does anyone have any theories?
    Here are the photos:

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    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  2. WallTenters

    WallTenters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2010
    Sweet Home, OR
    Looks like she's molting + being bred if a rooster is in the pen or just picked at by larger hens when you aren't looking.
     
  3. speralta

    speralta New Egg

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    Feb 12, 2011
    That was my first thought too, but do they moult that young? I thought they didn't normally start until 16 months. Anyhow, she was a weaker layer and appears to have pin feathers coming in, so I think that it must be moulting. Pretty surprising since she only laid for about 4 months before stopping & going to moult.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  4. csummer8882

    csummer8882 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2011
    Rockingham County, NH
    One of mine is moulting on her neck as well. Mine is only 8 months old. New pin feathers have started growing in finally. [​IMG]
     

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