Chicken losing feathers; suggestions?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Cati, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. Cati

    Cati Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Cincinnati
    Hi,
    I went to the coop a few days ago and there were feathers everywhere. They had come off one of my three Red Stars, who is two years old. At first I thought the other chickens were pecking her but today all her leg feathers are gone and it looks like underneath feathers as well. She is running around eating and pooping and drinking normally but I worry about her condition/sickness and that she will freeze (it's snowing now) because so much of her skin is showing. The coop was clean when this happened and I cleaned it out again and put in all new straw. Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Quote:Most likely she has gone into molt. I recommend you provide her with extra protein such as gamebird feed which has about 21% protein in it and will aid in the regrowth of fluff and feathers. Scrambled eggs mixed in her feed is good as well. Since it's cold and snowing where you live and unless it's a full blown molt, I suggest you put a chicken apron on her to help keep her warm. If she loses most of her feathers and looks bare, I'd bring her inside in a crate or cage to keep her warm, or in your garage with a heat lamp over her cage to keep her warm. Provide freshwater as well. Check her over for lice and mites just in case before you bring her inside.
     
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympia, WA
    Quote:Most likely she has gone into molt. I recommend you provide her with extra protein such as gamebird feed which has about 21% protein in it and will aid in the regrowth of fluff and feathers. Scrambled eggs mixed in her feed is good as well. Since it's cold and snowing where you live and unless it's a full blown molt, I suggest you put a chicken apron on her to help keep her warm. If she loses most of her feathers and looks bare, I'd bring her inside in a crate or cage to keep her warm, or in your garage with a heat lamp over her cage to keep her warm. Provide freshwater as well. Check her over for lice and mites just in case before you bring her inside.

    X 2

    All three of my red stars molted really hard this year, they're my pre-plucked naked chickens. I tell people that my coop looks like a pillow fight gone horribly wrong when the girls start to molt [​IMG] Feathers take a lot of protien to replace so giving them extra in the form of treats (scrambled eggs, boss, etc.) and/or switching to gamebird like dawg53 suggested will really help them get thru it. I use gamebird for my flock and if you go that route you'll want to be sure to provide some oystershell freechoice along with it so that any of your hens that are still laying are able to meet their calcium needs.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Does game bird come in pellets? All I've seen is Purina and my feed store will order it but they don't stock it. And is it okay to feed as sole ration?
     
  5. andrea98

    andrea98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    in my barnyard....ohio
    i had this problem too... & when it was asked to me if it could be a molt she explained it as a bad pillow fight & it sure does look like that in there ... lol
     
  6. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I can get it from 20%-27% in pellets or crumbles at my feed store, but that varies from store to store. I use it as their main feed source and it works very well, BUT you do need to put oystershell out freechoice because the gamebird feed does not have enough calcium in it for laying hens. They oystershell is not expensive though, about $14 for 50lbs and that last me 3-5 months for about 20 layers.
     
  7. Cati

    Cati Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Cincinnati
    Hi all,
    Thanks for the advice!
     
  8. edselpdx

    edselpdx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2008
    Portland, OR
    It's not like a pillow fight, my coop looks like a chicken exploded in it right now. Dear Artemis (BR, 20 months old) looks really terrible and mangy. Her partner in crime Demeter (BO, same age) is also having a pretty hard molt, but I think she had more feathers to begin with, so hasn't been quite as bad. They're both really cranky now, though. Strange that nature chooses this time of year for them to molt, but apparently it's really OK.

    Lots of extra protein. I can't get game bird feed easily, so I am feeding non-medicated chick starter, and I give mine wet cat food or other high protein treat daily. Trader Joe's has pretty cheap "tuna for cats" in packets that's really stinky, but is mostly the leftovers from tuna for people. (If, of course, you have TJ's nearby.) I even found some freezer-burned shrimp that I've been chopping up and giving to them.

    They'll grow back beautiful stunning new feathers before too long and be ready to lay beautiful eggs by spring!
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  9. 5Leepy!

    5Leepy! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I just have to say that I LOVE the names of your Hens. [​IMG]
     

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