chickens missing feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by purplepoen, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. purplepoen

    purplepoen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 12, 2008
    Michigan
    I hope this is in the right place. Within the last week, in our coop the RIR's of 5 Black Austrolorps 4 RIRs and an EE have lost tons of feathers. There are bare patches on their heads and hips. There is a rooster BR in with them but he is one legged and I've NEVER seen him try anything with the girls, I dont think he is physically able even if he wanted to. So I dont think it's him ripping their feathers out. What could be causing this and why only the RIR's? What can I do to stop this? It's not like molting either, besides what kind of bird brain would molt when it's 16 degrees outside...
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Are there pin feathers emerging? If so they are moulting. And they do it it at the darnest times too since historically they are from warm areas.

    If there are no pin feathers, and just broken feathers, and bald spots showing skin, check for mites/lice (you can see them with your eye if you lift feathers), and perhaps see if they are bored. Leaves to scratch or hanging food might help.

    What are they eating and how are they being housed now? Perhaps they need a bit of extra protein for feather growth and are getting stressed/bored being cooped up all day?
     
  3. purplepoen

    purplepoen Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    0
    119
    Jul 12, 2008
    Michigan
    It's full on winter so they mostly stay in their coop which is in a barn and raised off the floor. Their food is hung and they get dumor chicken feed, oyster shell and the latest left overs. No pin feathers, that was my first thing to check. On less frigid days they are let out to roam in the hay and sawdust in the barn for a little bit. What could I do to entertain them? Maybe hang a head of cabbage?
     

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