Chicken Plucking It's Own Feathers? Please Help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kaceek, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. kaceek

    kaceek Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2009
    Guys Mills
    For the past couple weeks I've been noticing feathers on the ground and in the coop... but I haven't really noticed anything on the chickens... well today I went out and my one chickens had feathers missing from underneath her belly... and on her back... both of there were 2 pretty big patches and her tail feathers are majorly thinned out and the WHOLE bottom of the coop is covered in feathers. I don't notice any of the others really doing this to themselves! And I don't know if they are doing this to her or if it is herself, but I don't see how they'd peck her belly? Please Help what do I do... what do I look for to find out whats wrong?!?

    I have 6 cochin chickens and 1 silkie rooster they are 6 mths - 3years old. They are kept in a coop with a run @ night and during the day they are allowed to roam our property.

    We also have 7 ducks and 2 geese but they are kept completely separate.
     
  2. eggsrcool

    eggsrcool Sussex Fanatic

    Is this hen laying? A high change is that its moulting (loosing feathers) or going broody (when a hen wants to sit on eggs, but they wont loose any on their back, surely?!) Personally I would say moulting- but they may be a little too young to be moulting (well the 6month olds)
     
  3. kaceek

    kaceek Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2009
    Guys Mills
    Yes, this is a laying hen. She is 3- 4 years old though. And at closer examination it looks more like they are falling out... when I went to pick her up then feathers were just coming out. She has been broody... she set on a egg this summer and the chick is about 6 mths old. I just don't know if it's lice or mites or something... I keep the coop sure clean though and none of the other chickens seem to have anything on their skin... her skin is bug free from what I saw and I cleaned the whole coop and didn't see a single creepy crawler... she has about a 2" patch on her belly and on her back and she isn't near as "fluffy" as she usually is... and she has like no tail feathers now...
     
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympia WA
    Does your chicken look like this?:

    http://www.newprotest.org/details.pl?1274

    They look awful, but it is completely natural. If you don't see others pecking on her, or lice or mites, it's molting. It would be good to up their protein level--with game bird feed or high protein treats.
     
  5. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    she's probably molting. I have several who are losing a few feathers here and there in patches, but I have one hen who looks like a cartoon hen that got exsploded out of a feather pillow. She's a total mess, and she's the only one that looks like that. I wouldn't worry if you've looked her over and she doesn't have any vermin on her.
     
  6. kaceek

    kaceek Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2009
    Guys Mills
    She kinda looks like that pic... but she isn't missing feather on her neck so much... She is mostly missing feathers under her belly and just a patch on her back... and he tail is usually puffy... but there is like 4 little feathers sticking out. Can chickens molt when they are 3-4 years old?

    Do you think I should worm the chickens, or dust them for mites or anything... just incase? I never have before... should this be something i should start?
     
  7. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Absolutely.

    Do you see any new little "porcupine quills" coming out in the bare spots yet?

    JJ
     
  8. eggsrcool

    eggsrcool Sussex Fanatic

    No matter what the age of the chicken is, they will moult [​IMG]

    The chicken will do different parts first, so may do wings, then back etc.. until all her feathers have grown back, otherwise you'll have a bald chicken for a while
     
  9. kaceek

    kaceek Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2009
    Guys Mills
    yea, lots of them on her back...not so much on her belly!

    is that a sign of molting and that the feathers r coming back in?!?!
     
  10. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Yes, if you're referring to the "porcupine quills" - those are the new feathers coming in....[​IMG]

    Give her extra good nutrition - protein - to help her through. Molting is a lot of work (takes a lot of energy). I offer egg (mine hate it but lots of other hens like it), a bit of high quality cat food (not too much because of salt content), yogurt, sunflower seeds (every day of the year for those), etc. you can use the 'search' tool about and type in topics like molt, molting, feather loss..and get lots of good info.
    JJ
     

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