Bare Neck-ed Ladies!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Olda Bat, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Olda Bat

    Olda Bat Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2012
    Colorado
    Hi all,
    Two of my hens molted in the Spring....their feathers haven't grown back at all!! Their necks...front and back....and their crops are completely bare. The feathers under their bums seem really thin too. They look terrible and so manged and disheveled. They don't seem to care at all though....and are as happy as can be. I have never seen another pull any feathers out....but they MUST be plucking the new pin feathers. And, I notice once in awhile their necks look like a man's razor burned neck....
    Questions:
    1) Does their skin sunburn?
    2) I have to get the feathers to grow back....any suggestions? Patterns for creating chicken scarves? Companies that make such a thing? A quick Google search didn't reveal vests that covered the front or that came up high enough on the chest.

    Thank you for any and all advice, thoughts, etc....now a third hen, Lois, is starting to molt and I don't want her to end up looking like the first two. I keep an organic flock and a really, really clean coop and free-range environment....but I am super self conscious with how terrible they look!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Molts usually last a month to six weeks. I have heard of slow molting chickens that took 3 months. I think you have something else going on. Mites, lice, feather picking? Are they locked up or do they get out during the day. Are they on at least 16% protein feed or *% scratch? The causes of feather picking are boredom, lack of enough room, or not enough protein in the diet. Look them over especially around the neck and under the vent for evidence of lice or mites.
     
  3. Olda Bat

    Olda Bat Out Of The Brooder

    19
    1
    26
    Mar 19, 2012
    Colorado
    Thanks so much for your thoughts! I have checked them consistently for mites or lice, etc....and have never seen anything. I also only have 4 hens and they have a ridiculously large coop and run for four. They get supervised free-range time 2 times a day (too many predators in our area to leave them out alone). When they go back in...I leave them with organic veggie and fruit scraps to occupy their time. They also get organic greek yogurt, scrambled eggs, and meal worms....aside from the bugs and worms they eat in the yard. I do suspect the Organic feed isn't as well balanced as need be...They also seem to get along really well with each other. When not working the yard, or taking a dust bath, they all nap in a pile together. I do really suspect they are plucking their own feathers out.....but NEVER when around me. So frustrating to take such care in their lives and to have such a mystery. I'll look forward to reading the link you sent.
     

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