Baby chick losing feathers

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by embrangled, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. embrangled

    embrangled New Egg

    Jul 30, 2009

    I recently purchased four baby chooks who are now 4 days old. They are living in a reasonably sized box with a lamp to keep them warm, plenty of food, water, etc... One of them has started losing patches of feathers (not big patches) all over her body. She is also pecking at herself in the areas minus feathers. Is this lice? And why don't the others have it? Also, do the chicks need a spot away from the light to sleep? Or are they fine with the light 24/7?
  2. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    I don't know the answer to this, but maybe somebody else does?
  3. embrangled

    embrangled New Egg

    Jul 30, 2009
    Update: The same chick still has bald spots on either side of her neck. I've also recently noticed that it looks like she has a bulge out the side of her neck which the others don't have. She's a bit smaller than the others also but seems fine and runs around playing with the others and has no trouble eating and drinking. Should I be worried?
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The box needs to be large enough that it has warmer and cooler areas so they can choose how warm they want to be. Better a bit cool than a bit warm. They don't need light 24/7 but they need to be warm enough, so it depends whether they are inside or outside and how warm the room or weather is. 90 F. should be plenty warm enough for them now, or even a bit cooler. If the light is white and seems to be disturbing them, you could try a red or blue light bulb. I would pick up an inexpensive thermometer if you don't have one.

    I don't know why there are bare spots, unless they have lice. I imagine by now you have read up a bit on lice and looked for them. If you aren't sure, you could pick up a can of poultry dust at the feed store and dust them and the bedding. If one has lice, you are right, they all do. Here's a link:

    Are you sure the feed is OK? Does it smell fresh? Where I live, it is hot and humid, and feed could easily go bad before it ever left the feed store. Are you feeding a chick starter or starter/grower?

    I would give a bit of a probiotic. About a Tbsp. of plain live culture yogurt, mixed with a pinch or two of feed, for all of them, would be fine. It will give them some good gut flora to help them digest their food better. Some infant vitamin drops without iron might be good, too, just a drop or two along the side of the beak. Again, for all of them.

    Don't know what to tell you about the bulge, unless it is her crop, which is not really on the neck, it is lower on the chest and on the right side a bit. If it's not her crop, I'm afraid it may be some sort of internal defect. Could it be a pecking injury? Are the others pecking her?

    I'm not much help, I'm afraid. Some of them will be a little behind the others, and sometimes we lose them, and we may never know why.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2009
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I agree with the above post. Light doesn't make a difference to chicks. Originally I left their lamp on 24/7. Now that they are 5weeks old I changed to a 15 watt night light I still leave it on 24/7. They go into their coop at night and all I have to do it shut their pop door. I think the light helps.

    In the beginning they eat, sleep and poop all day and all night and they sleep in the oddest positions.

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    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009
  6. RAWR

    RAWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    who wants to know?
    Quote:i agree :[ it could be lice or mites or even fleas? maybe even a parasite.. i wish i could more help Dx

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