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

    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:

    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  2. WallTenters

    WallTenters Chillin' With My Peeps

    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

    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

    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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