Chicken missing feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by earlybird, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. earlybird

    earlybird Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2008
    Oregon City
    I have a few mixed "banty hens" that we adopted from a friend last year. I'm interested in finding out what breed they are, mostly because I'm concerned about some missing feathers. I'm wondering if it is a characteristic of the breed. You know, like naked neck chickens. They are a light blond color, with feathers that flip up all over their bodies. They also have light feathering on their feet. When they extend their necks their feathers are very sparse. They lay brown medium sized eggs. They are missing feathers at the top of their wings, where their "shoulders" are and I noticed while they were foraging that their underbellies are red and missing feathers. I can't see any blood or injuries, just missing feathers. Plus, they won't really roost on the roosting bars, they will only sit on the edge of a bucket I have filled with bedding. I wonder if it's because their bellies are bare?

    Can anyone help me out?
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  2. kaacres

    kaacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like they are molting and if so this is normal. They are losing their old feathers to get new ones.

    Here is a quote from MM hatchery:

    Chickens will molt at about 18 months of age. Molting is where they lose all or some of their feathers and stop producing eggs. This is a natural shedding of feathers. Molting may take 2 to 4 months. Laying will resume when molt is over, but may not be as good as before molt process.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  3. earlybird

    earlybird Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2008
    Oregon City
    I wondered if it might be molting. The age is about right, I think. The only thing is, they are still laying routinely. I'll try to get some picks up and see if you can help me identify the breed. Who knows though, it could be an unidentifiable mix!

    Thanks for the quick response!
     
  4. kaacres

    kaacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your welcome. Just one of those nights I can't sleep so here I am! [​IMG]

    Do you have any roos? If so this could be the culprit. From breeding.

    If not and they continue to lay and lose feathers, do they pick at each other? Are they confined? If so how big of an area? If they pick at each other could be from small space or protein deficiency.

    As far as breed do they look like this?

    http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/product/bantam_red_frizzle_cochin.html

    But lighter colored like the buff to the right. If so they are Buff Frizzled Cochin Bantams, but I am just guessing from your description. Or they may just be Buff Frizzled Bantams. But that is a good place to look at the picks and see what you have. Also lots of good info on chicken health.

    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  5. earlybird

    earlybird Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2008
    Oregon City
    Thank you! It's so cool to be able to chat w/ people that have the same interests.

    I think you're right. I think it's a buff frizzle bantam because they aren't quite as feathered as the buff frizzled cochin bantams.

    They are sort of confined. We have a large barn w/ two large stalls, one of which is for our two pygmy goats and the other is for the chickens. Both stalls open into a 40x30 fenced yard. So they have quite a bit of room to roam. Plus I let them out on the weekends while we're home.

    I don't have a roo, so I think it must just be molting. Especially since the areas that they are missing feathers are consistent in both birds. I'll keep an eye on things though to make sure.

    Thanks again for the response.
     
  6. Puffy Leather Doughnut

    Puffy Leather Doughnut New Egg

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    Apr 22, 2008
    delete
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2008
  7. Mulemom

    Mulemom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2007
    Sacramento, CA
    Hello Puffy, What is glyphosate? I have birds that have been "molting" since last fall! I have been DE'ing them regularly and do not see any sign of mites etc. Just got the roo and now he is loosing a few feathers right above the tail!
     

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