Chickens losing feathers / red skin and yellow marks

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by gananatha, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. gananatha

    gananatha New Egg

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    Apr 16, 2017
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    orpington with feathers loss and red skin
    [​IMG]
    Ameraucana with loss of feathers (bump is visable near tail)
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    close up of Ameraucana
    [​IMG]
    yellow marks on the face are visable here

    Hi,

    a few weeks ago, a couple of our chicken
    Paste
    s began losing feathers. Two are looking especially rough. 1 buff orpington has feather loss mainly on the head with dry looking red skin. The other, an Ameraucana, has feather loss on the neck and back just above the tail. She also has dry and red looking skin. The Ameraucana also has a bump on the back and yellow spots on the face. A few others of our chickens also have a lesser amount of feather loss. All the birds seem to have completely stopped laying eggs for the last week or two.

    Our flock is all about a year old. We did change to a different food a couple weeks ago. They stay in their coop at night which has pine shavings or chopped hay bedding and in their run during the day. We applied some poultry dust to kill mites or lice a few days ago in the coop and directly on the chickens. We have been feeding a little meal worm treats to introduce plenty of protein (a small handfull to our flock of 13 chickens a couple times a week). We just added a little garlic to the drinking water. And we recently sprinkled the run with diatomaceous earth in spots where the birds dust bathe.

    We would appreciate any ideas as to what is the cause and how we can treat this condition.

    thanks
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    What are you feeding them? Are they close to molting age--between 16 to 18 months old? If not, I would say they are getting picked by the other chickens. The yellow spots on the face in picture 4 look like egg yolk or something bright yellow. Feather picking can be due to a lack of protein in the diet, over crowding, not getting outside to roam, and other problems. I would get a bag of Purina Flock Raiser 20% plus some crushed oyster shell in a separate container for free feeding. With feather loss this severe, they may not grow back until the next full molt. Sometimes bad tasting ointments or creams such as Nutock, menthol , BagBalm and others may be applied to bare spots to help prevent pecking. Here is an article on picking and cannibalism: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/2902/2902-1095/2902-1095_pdf.pdf
     
  3. gananatha

    gananatha New Egg

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    Apr 16, 2017
    Thanks for the input. We have been feeding them Southern States Brand and also Dumor Brand 16% protein food. We could try to find Purina 20% and switch and add oyster shells as suggested. Also some bad tasting ointment applied topically sounds like a good suggestion. Our chickens are about 13 months of age so molting is probably not happening yet. Our pet chickens have a bit more space in their coop than the minimum recommendation of 1.5 square foot per bird and a spacious run also. There are also useful suggestions in the article you provided a link for. We have been thinking of building a movable enclosure to let them out in the grass and it sounds like it could be a good idea to try to give more greens too. We will try these suggestions.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    You're welcome. I think the room they recommend in the article could be on the low side. Most people recommend 4 sqare feet per adult chicken, especially if they are in the coop all day long, such as in winter snow or on a rainy day. You can use the feed that you have left, and bump it up with a little extra protein, such as in eggs, meat or seafood scraps, and a good dry cat food. If you have a rooster, they can be responsible for some of the feather loss on the back of the neck or on the saddle from overbreeding when they are young. My first year, a lot of the hens were barebacked from the rooster even though we had 14 hens to one rooster. I made some one piece hen saddles feom polar fleece which helped a lot. The second year after their molt, the rooster calmed down a lot.
     
  5. gananatha

    gananatha New Egg

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    Apr 16, 2017
    Does anyone have any thoughts on why they would suddenly stop laying eggs? It is spring and the days are getting longer. Through the winter we were seeing at least one egg a day, but now we haven't seen a single egg for over a week. Not sure if this is normal. This is why we have been thinking the feather loss might be due to some sort of parasites, since reduced egg production is also a symptom of parasitic infection.
     

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