Chickens Loosing Feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by House of Hens, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. House of Hens

    House of Hens New Egg

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    Jul 27, 2010
    We are relatively new to chickens, so bear with us. We currently have 14 Isa Brown hens that are just over a year old. Over the last few months most of our chickens are loosing feathers towards the back end (see photos below). It appears that they are pecking each other, but it has gotten to the point where there is a fair amount of skin exposed. One died recently, and another is fairly sickly and has dried blood on her legs (isn't leaving the coop very often and is also loosing feathers on her legs - see photo). We have tried several dietary remedies: added calcium to diet, added protein (cat food), and have been adding lots of greens to pen (grass cutting (organic - no chemicals), weeds, and lots of veggie and fruit scraps). We have been feeding our chickens an organic feed from a local mill (fertrell nutrients). We live in Michigan. Can anyone help us?

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    Thank you!
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. I recommend you visually inspect them for lice/mites. First check around their vent area and under their wings. If you see them, use sevin dust to treat them, then redust them in 10 days to kill any eggs that may have hatched. You'll need to dust their house,nests and roosts as well and again in 10 days too. What are their living conditions? If they dont have enough room in their coop, they pick/peck at each other due to overcrowding, if that's the case, you'll need to expand. You need to clean away blood. The others will pick at the sight of blood. Use "blu kote" to cover areas where there's been bleeding after you've cleaned it. I thought maybe this could be molt because they are just over one year old, but I dont think it is. But if there isnt lice/mites, it may well be a molt in which case it'll take several months for them to grow their feathers back. Do you have a rooster? A rooster can do this with repeated mating. You would need to purchase chicken saddles/aprons.
     
  3. House of Hens

    House of Hens New Egg

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    Jul 27, 2010
    We checked the chickens for mites during the daytime and did not find any; however, we have seen what we believe to be chicken mites in the chicken coop. We feed our chickens organic feed and were wondering if there is a organic option for treating chicken mites. We did not check the chickens for mites at night because we read that when it is dark out, chicken mites will readily bite humans. We were just wondering if there is something that works well for getting rid of chicken mites and is organic.


    Thanks!
     
  4. juliawitt

    juliawitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DE is the only organic option that I know of. Your birds, however, really need a fast fix. In this case, I would give in and use pyrmethrin or sevin dust. Maybe someone else will have an idea. I use a poultry dust on everything in the coop and I clean everything at least once a month. I am sending you the best of luck!!! Chickens are so much fun, but when there is an ongoing problem, it can be very defeating. This is a great resource for information, and some one will have a good idea......but I'm guessing mites also.[​IMG]
     
  5. OrloffTom

    OrloffTom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a friend at work tell me that his grandmother used to use pine needles in their chicken coops to prevent mites. I looked it up and I'm pretty sure that I read that they do help deter them. I'm an organic remedy fella myself and I'd just be concerned using the sevin on them as I'm afraid it would probably somehow get into them and then into the eggs themselves. I'm not sure of this and I don't have proof but that would be my worry.
     
  6. House of Hens

    House of Hens New Egg

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    Jul 27, 2010
    Yesterday, we changed the bedding and sprayed the coop with Pyrmethrin and dusted it with poultry dust. We sprayed the chickens with Pyrmethrin and dusted them with DE*. We haven't seen any changes, but we hope to soon.



    Thanks for all your help!!!![​IMG]

    *Dusting the chickens with DE was lots of fun because the chickens looked like clowns!
     
  7. BlueMoon

    BlueMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have a rooster?

    You can also bathe the chickens.
     

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