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Bare bottoms! Moulting or????

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ikatiemay, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. ikatiemay

    ikatiemay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 21, 2010
    Eden Utah
    I know the chickens are supposed to loose feathers when they moult BUT are we talking ALOT of feathers or just a few. I have 6 girls that started losing the back feathers and wing tips. They have been featherless on their backs for a few months now. I thought at first it was caused from the roos so I put saddles on them. The feathers didnt grow back and actually kept leaving. Now a few feathers are returning but tonight I tipped one upside down and found a bare bottom, clean as a babys butt! Not all of them have this. So my question is: Do I have something going on that needs to be treated? If so What? OR is this the moulting thing. They are poor layers now too. I introduced 6 new hens in july and all is well with them. They are this springs chicks. some of he original girls look skinny too. I have noticed maggot looking things in the poo tray when I change it but I think its because of the flys in the coop. I clean well once a week but by the end of the week it starts to get smelly. I have hung fly strips and they are loaded. Any thoughts for my issues would be appreciated!!
     
  2. so lucky

    so lucky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    That doesn't sound very healthy to me. What does their poo look like? Search this forum for the poop chart, to show what unhealthy poop looks like. Have you checked for mites and lice? Have you wormed them? If you are saying the sick looking birds are this spring's babies, I think that is too young for them to be going into a moult. If the sickly birds are older, then it might be moult. They need extra nutrients during that time, to help their feathers grow back. Are they eating their feathers? Do you have them on layer food? Extra protein? Do they free range?
     
  3. so lucky

    so lucky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    Also, what is the rooster-to-hen ratio?
     
  4. top of the hill

    top of the hill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Connecticut
    hmm... sounds strange. How old are the original girls, I assume these are the birds that are loosing feathers and not the new ones? Sounds like your describing the symptoms of moulting, not eating as much, not laying as much, but typically it only takes a couple months before feathers regrow, how long has it been? Change in diet helps, upping the protein levels. some say it speeds up the moulting process. add some yogurt, scrambled eggs etc to their diet.

    Another thought: could the feather loss be stressed induced? Are they pecking eachothers feathers, pulling out their own? Have you checked for mites or lice?

    Why so many flies? Some one here suggested hanging those pine xmas trees, flies apparently hate the scent. not sure how true it is, but might be worth a shot.

    I agree with so lucky, seems like something more going on than a moult. The fly issue concerns me, mostly because of the maggots you found in the poop. Sure they are not worms? Perhaps you should repost this in the disease section and see what fellow BYC-ers say and definetly check out the poop chart!

    Not sure if this will link:
    http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0


    good luck!
     

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