Bald bottom and stopped laying!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Joeschooks, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. Joeschooks

    Joeschooks Just clucking around

    3,167
    10,442
    732
    Feb 7, 2018
    Hampshire, UK
    My Coop
    Around October my 10 month old Marans based hybrid stopped laying. Despite being a hybrid that is supposed to lay through winter, I just put this down to a reduction in daylight hours and thought no more of it. She did lay two unexpected eggs last week, meanwhile my other girls have carried on laying beautifully.

    This morning I noticed she had a bald bottom so I picked her up and discovered she has next to no feathers at all between her legs! The area does't look sore or red. I've attached a photo but it doesn't show the full extent of the feather loss between her legs. Claudette's bottom!.jpg

    So I checked for lice both on the hen and in the coop and can't see any evidence of parasites. I use DE as a preventative measure in the coop and dustbath. I don't think the other girls are pecking her because she is top chicken and I've never seen this behaviour in the flock. She is not broody and not going through a moult. I don't see any reason she could be stressed; they have a beautiful large run protected with electric fence. It's very rare I find any of her feathers in the coop/run. I suppose she could be eating them but she is being fed good quality layers pellets with limited treats.

    I'm am totally stumped! Does anyone have any ideas what this could be and how to treat it please??
     
  2. MyChickens14

    MyChickens14 Chirping

    147
    94
    71
    Feb 4, 2018
    I'm not an expert but did you add anything new in your coop? If so, that could cause stress and stop her from laying. On the other hand, do you have a rooster? He could be plucking her feathers. It's strange since there's no redness. Keep me posted.
     
  3. MyChickens14

    MyChickens14 Chirping

    147
    94
    71
    Feb 4, 2018
    I just thought of this! It could possibly be frostbite. Check her crown, if it's dark on the tips then that's frostbite. if not on the crown it could still be frostbite on her bottom.
     
  4. Joeschooks

    Joeschooks Just clucking around

    3,167
    10,442
    732
    Feb 7, 2018
    Hampshire, UK
    My Coop
    Thank you for your comments. I can't think of anything I've added to the coop, other than putting in fresh wood chips. Everything is very routine. I don't have a rooster in with my girls and I've never had any issues with my flock so I've been expecting something to happen sooner or later!
     
  5. MyChickens14

    MyChickens14 Chirping

    147
    94
    71
    Feb 4, 2018
    Ok. Do you live in a very cold climate? If so then as I said earlier, she might have frostbite.
     
  6. MyChickens14

    MyChickens14 Chirping

    147
    94
    71
    Feb 4, 2018
    Is there any discolouration?
     
  7. Joeschooks

    Joeschooks Just clucking around

    3,167
    10,442
    732
    Feb 7, 2018
    Hampshire, UK
    My Coop
    Thank you for the suggestion. I'm on the south coast of UK. At the moment it gets down to about -2C (28F) on a very cold night. I've only seen the surface of their water frozen once or twice this winter but I've been keeping an eye on the combs (especially my leghorn). The bald hen's comb looks good and healthy as far as I can see (she's the black hen in the foreground) so I don't think frostbite is the culprit. I didn't know it could cause feather loss though, so I've learned something already :)
    Claudette.jpg
     
  8. MyChickens14

    MyChickens14 Chirping

    147
    94
    71
    Feb 4, 2018
    Has there been a drastic increase or decrease in temp? She could just be molting. How long has this been going on for?
     
  9. MyChickens14

    MyChickens14 Chirping

    147
    94
    71
    Feb 4, 2018
    Losing feathers and have stopped laying are two really important signs of molting but you probably already know this. How long you been raising chickens?
     
  10. Joeschooks

    Joeschooks Just clucking around

    3,167
    10,442
    732
    Feb 7, 2018
    Hampshire, UK
    My Coop
    We always had chickens when I was growing up (I'm 33 now) but I've only been keeping chickens myself for a year. I've developed the chicken addiction now... If I'm not out with the girls my spare time is spent reading about them lol!

    There hasn't been any dramatic changes in temperature, just the usual seasonal variation. During a moult I seem to recall them looking generally scraggy all over rather than a localised bald patch? Also she hasn't really laid for about 4 months and I think a moult only lasts about 6 weeks?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: