3 hens with neck feather issues..not sure what it is/how to treat it? (Pictures included)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by valley, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. valley

    valley Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2015
    3 of my 11 girls have lost feathers in a ring around their neck. My Buff Brahma looks the worst while my 2 Buff Orpingtons only have light feather loss with healthy looking skin underneath. The brahma's neck looks really rough. They are all eating fine and seem content...i've looked for parasites and don't see any. I've never seen them picking at each other. Is this something I should worry about?

    They are eating normal layer feed pellets, a cup of scratch grains and also a handful of whole corn and a chunk of bread as treats. Their water gets changed daily and most are laying daily. Their combs are red and they seem healthy and happy otherwise.

    Picture 1: Orp #1 (Sam) - missing feathers in front of her neck
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    Picture 2: Buff - missing a complete ring of feathers around her neck

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    Picture 3: Another shot of Buff and Orp #2 (Ella) below her with a complete ring of missing feathers around neck.

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  2. I Love Layers

    I Love Layers Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you have roosters? Even though the area is a bit off that could still be a reason.

    Did you check by the vent for mites and lice?
     
  3. valley

    valley Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2015
    no roosters...no I didnt check the vents. Since the problem was around the neck, I didnt think the vent would be involved.
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Observe them at night while roosting. I'm guessing these three are lowest in pecking order(?) Look at your Barred Rock in the photos - she is pristine. These three girls are getting their feathers plucked by higher ranking members of the flock - most likely at night or early morning.

    Consider the protein levels in what you feed them. Offer extra protein instead of bread, scratch and corn for treats - give some chopped egg, mix some tuna in their feed, offer some meat or give higher protein commercial feed like all flock/flock raiser. Aim for 18-20%protein and limit treats to no more than 5% of their daily intake - see if this makes a difference.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
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  5. valley

    valley Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for the advice. I'm going to follow it! No more bread, scratch and corn for now. My Orps might be low but i'm doubtful that my Brahma is lower in the pecking order. She was the boss over all of them in the summer kept everyone else in line. I have 2 Isa Browns that keep to themselves and sometimes will try to roost outside no matter how cold it is...we have to force them in and close the pop door when the temps drop in the teens.. When they are inside, they roost on the lower poles...they are always off on their own so I assumed they were the lowest.

    Either way....the protein increase is something I can do immediately and will hopefully help. And yes...as you noticed by barred rock, its not only them but I have 8 other chickens that dont have a single feather out of place so thats why I am doubting mites/parasites. It must be feather picking.

    Thanks again!!!
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  7. valley

    valley Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 14, 2015
    Definitely have enough space...our coop is 6x10 and the run is 30x24. I will watch them tonight to see who is doing the pecking. I hate seeing them looking so rough! They are free-ranging today since its warm and I think that will help them to be tired out tonight. We've got 5 roosting bars in the coop and they use the top 2 bars.

    I've had a hanging cabbage before but its been awhile...i've got apples and cauliflower. I will try hanging them. :)

    I'll let you know if a few days if things are better for them.
     
  8. mavis4

    mavis4 Out Of The Brooder

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    This is something I have a lot of experience with. The exact same happened to my Chickens. What I did was watch them as much as I could to see who was bullying who and once I have determined the bullies I removed them from the flock and kept them in a separate pen. ( i had 2 bullies ) they were away from the flock for about 3 days then I put spectacles on them. They had them on for about a week then I took them off and They never did it again.
     
  9. valley

    valley Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the info. I can definitely separate the offenders from the flock once I find out who is causing the harm...but I dont have the stomach to use the specs, lol. From what i've read, you have to pin them through the nostrils. I cant help but think that it would hurt them?
     
  10. mavis4

    mavis4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 24, 2015

    I was the exact same at the start but now I've used them once I would never look back. You clip in their nostrils but it dosnt go through it and they are completely painless. I would highly recommend them but of course it's your desicion. If you want any more info about them let me know !
     

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