5-month-old chickens losing feathers - molting or worse?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by nvdirtfreak, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. nvdirtfreak

    nvdirtfreak Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2014
    Hello, I am a new chicken mama to 11 chickens (10 hens, 1 rooster) and noticed today that about half are missing a noticeable amount of feathers on the back near the base of their tail (mostly the 2 Gold Sexlinks, 2 of my 4 Americuanas, and my 1 Americuana rooster - my 2 Australorps and 2 RIRs are not affected at all). The rooster is also missing feathers on his neck. Could this just be molting? I examined the rooster closely and didn't see anything that looks like parasites, however aren't they too young to be molting? Our weather just changed drastically - went from being in the 80s to a high of 60, lost a couple hours of sunlight, and has been super windy all in the last week or so. Any advice would be extremely helpful![​IMG]
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    They should not be going into any kind of heavy molt at this age. They do go through a juvenile molt but you should see new pin feathers growing in if that were the case.

    I think the first thing I would do is spend some time watching your birds carefully and see if you have some aggressive or bully birds in your flock that have started pecking.

    How much space is availlable to them in their coop/run? Do they free range or have access to pasture at all?
     
  3. chicken11602

    chicken11602 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2014
    Southern IN
    I have three RIRs and they are sweet birds but have a bully side to them
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Same here. I had a few and they were very people friendly birds but they tended to be fairly aggressive with flockmates.
     
  5. nvdirtfreak

    nvdirtfreak Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2014
    The two Australorps are the bullies, but they have only ever picked on 2 of the Americuanas by pulling out their tail feathers. Those Americuanas are actually growing their tail feathers back, which I was happy to see, but now I'm wondering if it's because they've broadened their bullying...

    They are also the worst of my layers so far. I have considered separating them for awhile then reintroducing them to the flock.
     
  6. chicken11602

    chicken11602 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2014
    Southern IN
    I would separate the austrolorp so for a while and see what happens. If the problem is still occurring then separate the RIRs from the flock
     
  7. nvdirtfreak

    nvdirtfreak Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2014
    So my Australorps have now been seaparted for about 2 weeks, and my other chickens are doing really well. Their bald spots are healing nicely, and I have been checking 2 of the worst ones (my rooster and one of my GSLs) every day to make sure there are no fresh signs of feather picking. So far, nothing. I also had an unintended improvement - my Ameraucanas have always been incredibly shy (the only ones to not eat out of my hand, and the only ones who scramble away from me), however their temperaments have blossomed! They are now the first ones to come running when I hand feed, and are just as annoyingly in the way as the rest of my chickens :) I am very happy with the improvements, and when I re-introduce the Australorps in another week or two will quickly do away with them if I notice any negative effects again. They are still laying really poorly, as well, so I don't see any benefit from keeping them unless this separation has improved their bullying tendancies.
     
  8. aciarametaro

    aciarametaro New Egg

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    Feb 28, 2015
    noticed today that about half are missing a noticeable amount of feathers on the back near the base of their tail (mostly the 2 Gold Sexlinks, 2 of my 4 Americuanas, and my 1 Americuana rooster - my 2 Australorps and 2 RIRs are not affected at all). The rooster is also missing feathers on his neck. Could this just be molting? I examined the rooster closely and didn't see anything that looks like parasites, however aren't they too young to be molting? Our weather just changed drastically - went from being in the 80s to a high of 60, lost a couple hours of sunlight, and has been super windy all in the last week or so. Any advice would be extremely helpful![​IMG][/quote]
     
  9. aciarametaro

    aciarametaro New Egg

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    Feb 28, 2015
    My chicken is losing feather on her breast and has been just sitting in the nesting box. I don't know if she's molting because she is only 45 weeks. Some say she could be brody or she has mareks idont know what to do. Were she has lost feathers is warm and pink(skin color) and no swelling.
     
  10. aciarametaro

    aciarametaro New Egg

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    Feb 28, 2015
    I have all australorps and the one been losing the feathers was standing in the coop with a egg at her feet. Is it possible that she was just trying to lay an egg. But that does not explain the feather lose. HELP!
     

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