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Chicken going bald!!! Help me diagnose...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by javachickz, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. javachickz

    javachickz New Egg

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    Dec 14, 2009
    I am new to the chicken world and am having trouble getting my sick Barred Rock, Gladys, well and am afraid my other chickens might be sick as well now. She is 1.5 years old and started having trouble months ago. Messy fluff and then feather loss below the tail...i initially thought other chickens (3) were pecking out the dirty feathers (or she was). Then a few weeks ago i noticed her losing feathers on her neck...too high for her to be pecking and i haven't noticed the other girls hassling her. Upon cleaning the coop i noticed MANY black & white feathers and realized she has down exposed in many places on her body. Her fluff is all gone and her skin in fairly red...no blood, though. She has been lethargic and less interested in food. I talked to my local feed store and put her on an antibiotic right away...Sulmet...and she did seem to perk up a bit. However, now i'm noticing what looks like undigested food (poo) in the coop under her roost and lots of it. I've given them all yogurt during the duration of meds, too. She still has red, upright comb, bright eyes and is doing pretty well otherwise. I'm still getting eggs, but i don't know if they are from her directly. I have another barred rock who is great (alpha) and two Rhode Island Reds who have ruffled feathers on their chest. I thought this was just from their roost, but now i'm noticing missing feathers in spots on their chest and around their legs...they otherwise seem totally fine. Gladys is really the only one who acts "sick".

    Besides helping me diagnose my poor girl...i was also wondering how long i need to wait before i can eat eggs again after medicating them w/ the Sulmet?????

    Anybody out there who can help a clueless girl in Eugene??

    Thanks SOOOO much!!
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    She's molting. That is the right age for the first big feather replacement. Give her extra protein a few times a week, like canned salmon. Do not medicate her! Never, ever listen to feedstore folks. For some reason, they love to sell antibiotics and usually know nothing about chickens. (sorry to those who work there and are not clueless)
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    See this poor barred Easter Egger girl? Her feathers are coming back now, but she lost weight and her comb shrunk. That's what the molt will do to them. Antibiotics will stress her system more so no more of those, please.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. chickenbottom

    chickenbottom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2008
    hollister, florida
    some cat food would give her some energy and boost her feathers to grow thats what ive read
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Cat food is too high in salt to give much. Fresh fish or canned fish is better. They will actually change personality during a molt sometimes. My Panda in the pic above runs screaming if you even look at her and she's usually very friendly.
     
  6. chickenbottom

    chickenbottom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2008
    hollister, florida
    Quote:aww shes so cute in her own little way i remember my leghorn ladies looked pitiful like that i just wanted to hug them to death [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  7. ghillie

    ghillie Hen Pecked

    Nov 13, 2008
    Colorado Springs, Co
    [​IMG]
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Since she has been medicated, please buy some plain yogurt and give it to her every day for a week to replenish her good gut bacteria, which the Sulmet would have destroyed. Your girl will be fine, but the molt makes everything worse for them, any little problem becomes exacerbated. So, up her protein, give her yogurt and go easy on scratch since the crop may not work as well as usual.






    ****Excuse me while I rant a bit... this is my BIGGEST pet peeve, feedstores dispensing very bad, even dangerous, advice on birds. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. javachickz

    javachickz New Egg

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    Dec 14, 2009
    Thanks a million!! I feel so much better already! I will definitely keep up the yogurt rations (nothing but the good stuff!)...and no more meds! Whew! Do i need to worry about her feather loss in the cold weather? Of course, here in Eugene it's not too bad, and she made it (with the heat lamp) through 15 degree weather last week...ugh! When is it safe to eat the eggs??

    You guys are a lifesaver!! Thanks you, thank you, thank you!
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    There isn't much you can do to make her warmer unless you put a heatlamp over her some way, but if she can snuggle with the others, she'll be warm enough. I know it looks awful and they feel terrible during that, especially if it's really cold. I have a couple of half naked ones besides my poor girl in the pic above. All you can do is supportive care and hope she grows those feathers in fast.
     

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