Bald spot - moulting or fighting?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Three Silkies, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    No problemo Three Silkies

    May I recommend one of the Aussie Threads: there are other South Australians regularly posting.

    I strip the coop down completely and scrub with soap and water, sun dry and then drench everything, walls, roosts etc with a Yates Success mix (at the recommendation of a breeder on the Aussie thread). When that dries, the gals are safe to go back in.

    The diluted Neem Oil does not kill the mites but it apparently upsets their breeding cycle. This is also applied to the walls, roosts etc.

    In the nest box, I use Vetafarm Furry Friends Mini Straw Bale which is pest resistant. It is about $9 for a small bale which actually expands out and easily fills two nest boxes for two changes.



    I also use Pestene in the nest boxes and on the chickens if required. Pestene itself can open a whole can of worms with regards to whether it is a good product or not and I have been advised that it may be linked to Parkinson's disease but I will leave the debate to the experts; just sharing what I do :)

    You are correct that a good dust bath helps :)

    I also battled the local dove population and as the gals have lots of hiding places when free ranging (supervised), I close the coop and run when they are out to also keep the doves, crows and miner birds out.
  2. Three Silkies

    Three Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's really helpful. Thank you.
  3. Three Silkies

    Three Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    HELP! Lola has lost even more feathers today and now has a bald patch on her wing (sort of on the shoulder). I'm hoping it's moulting, but if not perhaps I should be trying to separate her from the others to keep her safe? Also the bald patch on her back has doubled (or maybe even tripled) in size!
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hey there Three Silkies

    Unfortunately, I have never experienced a hard molt with a Silkie. I had two Silkies but sadly lost them both before going through a molt with them. In fact, I have only experienced one hard molt and that was with my bantam Langshan. So, I am no expert on molting.

    As dawg53 mentioned previously though, when molting, I believe you should see the pin feathers.

    Silkies may be different. There is a very knowledgeable Silkie Breeder on the Aussie Thread I mentioned previously and there is also a thread dedicated to Silkies. If you post some pictures on there, someone may be able to help with whether she is molting or not.

    (I will just go and find the link to the Silkie thread and paste below)

    Edited to paste link:
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
  5. Three Silkies

    Three Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you. I'm feeling a bit more reassured after looking at some pics other people have posted of their moulting hens, and also getting some Twitter advice from a great local woman who offers a chicken sitting service here in Adelaide. She says her hens (and also one of her clients) are moulting now too. And I'm pretty sure I can see pin feathers. Well she has little black spikes on her bald spots so I'm assuming they're pin feathers. She has black skin and the spikes are black too so it's a bit hard to see properly. I've read that pin feathers should be red at the tips, but these are just black.
  6. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    I am pleased to hear that Three Silkies

    When Dusty had both her's and my first experience with a hard molt, I came home to black feathers everywhere and she was huddled in the corner looking very sorry for herself; I freaked out! Thinking she had been attacked, I raced over and picked her up to see if she was OK and she was not happy about that ... I have since learnt that the pin feathers are very tender and they do not like to be picked up during a molt.

    Increasing her protein levels while she is molting will help with the new feather growth also.

    Best wishes for your little gal and I hope she is back to her normal self very soon [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
  7. Three Silkies

    Three Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you so much for all your advice. My chickens have NEVER let me pick them up even though I've handled (tried to handle) them since they were born. They are incredibly ..... chicken! The mama hen will sometimes squat and let me pat her for a few seconds, but the babies just run away. I hand feed them corn and pat them when they're sleeping or broody. But they never let me pick them up and run away when I come near or try and take photos of them. I've just resigned myself to the fact that I have unfriendly chickens. Sigh.
  8. Cluckies

    Cluckies Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    My Coop
    I did the same thing. I came home to a chicken with no tail feathers and a bald neck, and bleeding blood feathers on her tail and thought the others were attaching her! Panic set in, I gave her a bath, cleaned up the blood, the feathers quite bleeding, blow dried her and came on here to do research. Thank goodness she is just molting. Her feathers are coming in now. Bad to be molting in December, in Minnesota! I did put pinless peepers on 2 of my 6 (the two that like to pull feathers) as Mother molting is just too temping a treat for them to not leave alone. Here is what her tail looked like warning, gross.

  9. Three Silkies

    Three Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    I finally managed to get a better picture. I'm pretty sure they're pin feathers so that's a relief. [​IMG]
  10. Three Silkies

    Three Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would be worried about that blood. Do chickens bleed when they moult?

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