Chick is losing feathers and the skin looks weird, please help!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DoveStar, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. DoveStar

    DoveStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    48
    3
    67
    Apr 13, 2013
    Chandler, AZ
    Ok, so I have a black australorp chick named Annie who is about a month and a week old now. I moved her outside to the coop about two weeks ago with her three flock mates. But, for the past weeks she has been losing some feathers, but acting normally. She is always eating, drinking, and pooping. Annie is flying around with the other chicks happily, and has acted completely the same as she always had.

    But, she has patches where there are no feathers, and when she flies around, feathers practically fall off. I held her to look at her skin patches up close and the skin looked normal, except for one thing. There seemed to be a little bubble underneath the skin near the base of her neck. I pressed it (she didn't act like it hurt) and it moved around, as if it was filled with either air or water or something.

    Btw, the patches were her feathers are missing are on the sides of her neck, partially chest, and underneath the wings. And, out of the four chickens, she is the very top of the flock so I doubt she is being picked on.

    [​IMG]
    ^^^The left side of her neck^^^

    [​IMG]
    ^^^The right side of her neck^^^


    [​IMG]
    ^^^The right side of her neck^^^

    [​IMG]
    ^^^The right side of her neck^^^

    [​IMG]
    ^^^The right side of her body/chest^^^

    [​IMG]
    ^^^Underneath her right wing^^^

    [​IMG]

    ^^^Underneath her right wing^^^
    (Underneath her left wing looks the same)


    If anyone could help, I would much appreciate it! Thank you so much.
     
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    3,495
    547
    318
    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Do you see those feather follicles protruding from the skin? Those are new feathers coming in to replace the old ones being shed in moult. Chickens often moult around Fall/beginning Winter. Look her over to make sure no mites or lice are scurrying around the body. Part feathers around the vent and look carefully in good lighting. I use a headlamp to inspect birds so I have both hands free. Part the feathers along the underside and back too where lice are seen. Let us know if you see any. You can help her by providing vitamin-mineral-electrolyte & probiotic supplements in water and feeding an 18-20% starter/grower ration. Are you sure the pullet is 5 weeks old? At about 5 months of age, start switching to a 16+% layer ration. Supplement water 3 days a week and keep cold drafts off them while they roost at night. I have a 10 year old Australorp. They are a great breed.

    This is a decent supplement which contains probiotics: http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=30e078d3-7b6a-11d5-a192-00b0d0204ae5

    Stress-eez plus is a good one: http://www.dawesnutrition.com/spec sheets/streseez plus.pdf

    Vitamin-mineral supplements not containing probiotics do well with the addition of Probios dispersible powder:
    http://www.probios.com/powdersgranules3.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014
  3. debster1556

    debster1556 Chillin' With My Peeps

    205
    5
    73
    Feb 21, 2014
    My chickens are losing a ton of feathers too. There are feathers all over the coop and when they fluff up or move, feathers come off. Pretty sure that it's molt time.
     
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    17,686
    499
    431
    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Chickens usually have an ordinary molt. Once in a while they molt and look like they escaped from the chicken pluckin machine. I had to put sun block on one of mine. Sooooooooo many feathers! They act like "don't touch me". It must hurt.
     
  5. DoveStar

    DoveStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    48
    3
    67
    Apr 13, 2013
    Chandler, AZ
    Thanks for all the information guys; and I checked, no lice or mites. :) I thought about molt before, but aren't they too young for molt? I've heard that chicks are at least a year or two old....
     
  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    3,495
    547
    318
    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Young birds may moult a couple times the first 6 months of age. That's good the birds are free of ectoparasites. Supplement the birds' diet to help her through the moult like I mentioned. They'll appreciate it.
     
  7. DoveStar

    DoveStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    48
    3
    67
    Apr 13, 2013
    Chandler, AZ
    Gotcha, thank you!! :)
     
  8. DoveStar

    DoveStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    48
    3
    67
    Apr 13, 2013
    Chandler, AZ
    UPDATE: After a while and no feathers growing back, I looked for other causes. One I came up with was a fungal infection of the skin that caused bald patches like my hen had. I sprayed some anti-fungal stuff on her everyday for several weeks and now she is good as new! :)
     
  9. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    17,686
    499
    431
    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    That is pretty good that you came up with the answer. Good for you!
     
  10. catejams7

    catejams7 New Egg

    2
    0
    6
    Apr 28, 2015
    My chicken is also missing feathers and there is most likely something wrong. She has been in the coop the whole day and will not eat anything (not even treats!!) My friend thought that she may be dying, but I would not like to believe that. Please Help!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by