Chickens lossing their feathers! WHATS GOING ON?!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by alibbrownie, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. alibbrownie

    alibbrownie New Egg

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    Nov 18, 2011
    Hi there,
    These are some pictures of my chickens.
    Their feathers near the back are going missing and we dont know why!
    We removed one of our chickens from the rest of the coup because we thought
    she was the problem. That helped slightly but their feathers are still going missing.
    We apply a special poultry powder to remove any mites or lice. The main question is:
    does this look like a sign of pecking or some sort of mite??
     
  2. alibbrownie

    alibbrownie New Egg

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    Nov 18, 2011
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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    No picture in your post, but do you have a rooster? Rooster's toenails rip out feathers on wing tops and backs of the hens. Also, chickens molt their feathers out at 18-20 months of age-at least, that's the first big molt. There are several smaller molts as they get adult plumage from chickhood.
     
  4. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't see any pictures? I believe you have to have 10 posts before you can put pictures on? Could be feather pecking....feathers are pretty yummy and actually provide an essential amino acid...Sometimes black oil sunflower seeds help, as they also have that essential amino acid. Make sure they have enough space in the coop and maybe provide some things for them to do to reduce boredom. You could provide a flock block, part of a pumpkin, maybe an apple or cabbage. Pinless peepers can be helpful. Watch them to see if you have a feather eating bully. You would want to remove a hen that is doing this and put her in chicken isolation for a few days. You don't want her to teach the others what a yummy treat they are missing.
    Do you have a rooster? COuld be he's a little rough on the ladies? Saddles can be a remedy for this cause.
    Or do you think they could be molting?
    Good luck
    ETA: I see the picture now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I see the pictures now. Looks rather like molting-the bare butts and tummies are typical. Give them extra protein to help with the feather regrowth, and, of course, dust them for mites/lice for good measure, though, you should be able to see those with all the bare skin showing.
     
  6. alibbrownie

    alibbrownie New Egg

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    Nov 18, 2011
    This has been going on since the end of summer time.
    I dont think its molting....
    Could they be doing this to themselves at night time when they
    are in the coop while mites are biting them?
     
  7. Fldeb

    Fldeb Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2011
    I was hoping you would get an answer because mine are the same as yours. They also started at the end of summer. I have treated them and the coop and run 4 times with permethine spray and powder with 10 days between doses. I have checked them over for mites and can't find any. I have now treated them with seven dust. I have some that the feathers are starting to come in now. One chicken is totally feathered (has never lost any) and the other 11 have various amounts of missing feathers. They have gotten raw spots ( picking by others or themselves, or mites?) which I treated with blu kote. I have given boss and have put flock block in the run. I usually get 9 eggs a day. Their combs are bright red and have healthy appetites. I have a friend who has had chickens forever, he says it is because they have RIR in them. He says RIRs never take care of their feathers and that as long as I'm getting eggs they are fine. Mine are black stars and red stars. Does anyone have an opinion on this? Thanks, Deb
     
  8. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see a HUGE amount of feathers on the ground in the coop... there are two or three bantams that are really molting... I mean if my bantam cochin moves, her little "blue" gray feathers just fall out by the handful... the Cubalaya who has chicks is molting as well... other hens are acting up... sensitive and moody. I understant that is part of the molting season as well. Even young chickens are getting up onto the roost in the coop during the day. No one is acting normally.
    Wow.... I have had some molt a few feathers before, but nothing like this until now. The Cochin is about 20 months old... but the Cubalaya is young, eight months? Early layer, early broody.
    Many others seem really touchy, anxious.
    The little Cochin will have bare spots soon at the rate she is losing feathers.
     
  9. dragonlair

    dragonlair Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine did the same thing while molting. It seemed they took turns, it started at the rear end and moved up. Feather everywhere! Some of them started late summer, the last couple are going thru the molt now. They all look just like yours.
     

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