8 month old hen sick? missing feathers, pale comb PICTURES

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JustDawn, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. JustDawn

    JustDawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 7, 2009
    Alpharetta Ga
    Hi all, I think I might have a sick girl. Please let me know what you think. I’ve looked through the forums and found some others with some of the same issues, but not all of them are alike. I have 6 hens, 3 barred rocks and 3 golden comets, which have grown up together since birth. They are 8 months old. They used to free range in our fenced in back yard but with 6 children (and all their friends), the fence was left open occasionally and that became almost a disaster several times with the neighborhood dogs. I was able to get to the dog and stop him from eating my hens twice. This happened a month ago. They hang out with my boxer all day so they didn’t know to run from the dog I guess. They were scared after the attacks, but unhurt. Unfortunately, we finally broke down and built a large coop to keep them in for their safety. I was so worried they would hate to be in there but they actually started laying their eggs in there before we were even done. The indoor area is 8x10 with 4 nesting boxes and an 8 foot roost. There are 2 windows that have screens I can open up during the day and a storm door that also has a screen, though I am leaving the door open during the day at the moment because we haven’t cut a chicken door in it yet! I don’t close it until they are all up on their roost and I open it early in the morning when it is just starting to lighten up, before they get off their roost. There is water available always inside. The covered outdoor screened area is 6x8 with fresh food (layer pellets) and water always available. There is also oyster shell and grit mixed in the food as well as spread on the ground. I feed them treats (black sunflower seeds and leftovers… cut up apples, strawberries, bread, macc and cheese, oats, etc) daily, in the morning and late afternoon. The other day I actually bought some earth worms for them as a snack which they LOVED. It was like children in a candy store! I also give them garden scraps (plants to play with) that they love as well as leaves from plants and some grass cuttings from our backyard that they have always enjoyed when they were free ranging. They have been in their new home since the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and all seemed well. Their egg production was great over the summer but has slowed down because it’s just that time here in Georgia. We used to get anywhere from 5-6 eggs a day and now we are getting 2-3 (only my golden comets are still laying). Normal. My concern is with Cinderella, one of our barred rocks. She’s about the 3rd biggest in our family. Her comb looks paler than the other girls. I noticed it 5 days ago. Her legs seem a big rougher than the others and also paler. She is missing feathers around her neck. The feather shafts are still there but you can see her skin through the shafts. Her skin is not red or inflamed. She is also missing her tail feathers (just the long ones). She is not missing feathers around her vent (which seems to be the usual favorite pecking feather area in a lot of other posts) and she has no wounds anywhere. I have looked and can’t see any mites or fleas. She seems to be the bottom of the pecking order. She is eating and drinking fine but will run from the other girls if they want what she has… though not always. She actually pecked at Peep today when she tried to take an apple piece from her. I stayed out there for 2 hours today just sitting in the coop watching them. No one seems to be pulling her feathers out (while I’m there). All the poop in the coop looks normal, as normal as chicken poo can be… no blood, not watery and no worms. She is acting fine in the sense that she walks around with everyone, pecks at the ground, fluffs her feathers, stretches her wings, and is holding her head up like the rest and talking as well. She is acting just like everyone else there. She roosts with everyone too. She just seems to be the shy one in the group (not with me… she jumped on my shoulder as did several of them while I was sitting and watching them today). I am using no scent bedding (aspen or pine… can’t remember). I use very fine in the nesting boxes and a bit larger on the ground. The nesting boxes have a lot of bedding which the girls seem to like since they have laid eggs in everyone of them. The ground in their coop is natural (dirt/sand). I cover the ground completely with bedding. I have deeper bedding in the indoors than I do outside. I clean their roost and "poop scoop" daily. I put fresh stuff out every other day or daily if needed. I also clean it out completely every 3-4 days unless it needs it sooner. If it rains I will clean it out after the rain stops so they won’t have a wet ground. The inside doesn’t get wet. It was actually snowing (if you can call it that) this past Saturday and has been a bit colder lately. OK… I have rambled enough. I do that sometimes. I hope I gave you all the information you need. Thanks so much.

    I ADDED PICTURES... SEE NEXT POST PLEASE
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  2. JustDawn

    JustDawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 7, 2009
    Alpharetta Ga
    Here's some pictures I took today of what I am talking about. Any ideas?

    [​IMG]
    Cinderella's neck with missing feathers

    [​IMG]
    Cinderella's face with pale, small comb

    [​IMG]
    Cinderella's tail with missing feathers (but there is one or two growing back!)

    [​IMG]
    A picture of Jaz (on left) and Cinderella (on right) with a paler comb. They are the same age and have grown up together. (just to compare)

    [​IMG]
    Cinderella

    Thanks again
    DAWN

    BTW... I've been letting them out for a couple of hours each day when I can hang out there with them (or my kids can). They seem to be very happy with this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  3. Renee

    Renee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    CALIFORNIA
    I think she's moulting.
    The comb and wattles go pale during moulting, and the tail feathers and the ones around the neck are often the first and sometimes the only feathers to go.

    Sometimes hens get cranky when they are going through a moult, and stop laying.

    Renee
     
  4. JustDawn

    JustDawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 7, 2009
    Alpharetta Ga
    Thanks Renee. I was wondering if that is what was happening but I wasn't sure since she was only 8 months old and I'm a newbie. I was also hoping that's all it was, though it confuses me why in the world she would molt when the temperature just dropped. Silly girl.

    Thanks again![​IMG]
     
  5. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Yep looks like molting. Even the young ones can go through a mini-molt, and their combs will shrink up. Keep an eye out for the new feathers growing in and make sure she gets enough protein.
     
  6. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

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    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
    Definitely a molt. Nothing wrong!
     
  7. CATRAY44

    CATRAY44 Lard Cookin Chicken Woman

    What I was going to say, too! Molting!
     
  8. solarquail

    solarquail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 27, 2009
    Virginia
    Yup, shes molting.
     
  9. JustDawn

    JustDawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 7, 2009
    Alpharetta Ga
    Thanks so much everyone. Sorry I'm such a newb and worry about everything! I am so happy she's just molting but I still think she picked a silly time to do such a thing.... It's COLD!
     
  10. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Yes, she is molting. And if you think she's bad, just wait. I should show you a picture of my buttercup and her molt. (she's 9 months old)
     

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