Anyone Seeing Deficiency Symptoms Since COVID Began?


6 Years
Apr 13, 2016
North-Central IL
I'm having a frustrating issue and I'm wondering if anyone else is seeing it too.

Since late spring last year I've been getting ruffled feathers over my juveniles' and pullets' backs. The first issues were in my first hatch of the year, well hatches really, where I had a lot of infertility, mortality in shell, and failure to thrive once hatched. As the chicks that did hatch and survive grew, I started seeing these ruffled feather issues, basically it's all of the feathers on their backs standing straight up, all the time. It can't be rooster treading, and there really aren't any other outside factors that I can think of that would cause this besides a vitamin deficiency in the feed.

What really has me eyeballing the feed as well is that I brought six grown pullets home Memorial Day weekend from my breeder/mentor and they looked perfectly fine, as they should. This past week, I'm seeing their back feathers standing straight up now too. Obviously, it's something here causing this. Our water is fine, there aren't any toxins in my barn, etc.

My theory is that with the supply and distribution delays related to COVID-19 the vitamins in the feed must be degrading more than usual before the feed makes it to my barn. I know for some of the vitamins it can be as short as 2 months before they're impacted. I've been feeding Nutrena All Flock and Nutrena Chick Starter almost the whole time, the first time I noticed an issue I had been feeding Rural King's store line of chick feed and switched to Nutrena in case it was simply a quality issue, although they're both produced by Cargill Nutrition. I have ordered the Fertrell poultry breeder supplement to add to my current feed, hopefully that clears it up.

Was just wondering if anyone has seen this lately.


Free Ranging
6 Years
Jul 26, 2016
Connecticut, USA
I've been feeding mostly for 2 years the Non-Medicated Starter-Grower feed from Nutrena Naturewise, bought from TSC.

I haven't noticed anything unusual.
I do occasionally buy Flock Raiser Crumbles if my preferred feed is older or sold out.
I also feed Purina Medicated Start & Grow feed to Chicks/Pullets for at least 10 weeks.
My local TSC doesn't carry Medicated Nutrena feeds.
My 4 ISA Browns (15 months old) lay 27/28 eggs weekly eating Nutrena.

Yesterday's eggs. GC
ETA; I just checked and my last 4 bags were Nutrena Starter-Grower. I last bought Flock Raiser in January, opened 2/6/21.
So my ISA Browns have been eating Nutrena since March 6. GC
Last edited:


Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jun 2, 2020
Near Devil's Millhopper
The way availability has been, I've been taking what I can get. There isn't really a better alternative at this time, sadly.
I can't speak for what is available to you, but Ive found that between Flock Raiser and the various starter/growers there is always something that meets my needs and is fresh.
Wishing you the best on your feed issues.


Apr 21, 2018
Wilmington, NC
We use the Nutrena too - layer pellets and chick starter feed. We have not had issues with old lots, etc. We did, however, have a case of Wry Neck in June that was resolved with Vit-E/Selenium and other vitmain-boosting products for a recovery of the 12 week old chick.
Was the Wry Neck a symptom of a deficiency in the feed?? Hard, if not impossible, to tell...

Folly's place

11 Years
Sep 13, 2011
southern Michigan
Always check those mill dates! We only get feed that's really fresh, and use it up within two months of it's mill date. We buy Purina's Flock Raiser, which is fresh around here. Other choices would be another all flock, or unmedicated chick starter, with good mill dates.
Once, many years ago, we had one chick with wry neck type symptoms, before I was checking each bag's mill date. Had her necropsied, and it was brain lesions because of a vitamin deficiency. One chick out of about thirty (fifty?) at that time. Two things; maybe i had a bag of older feed, and this one bird had a higher than normal need for vitamin A.
Either way, she died, and since then, every bag of feed is checked here, left in it's original bag, and stored that way if the garbage can.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom