Cold outside, and chicken is losing feathers! Help?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by nobodyherebutuschickens, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. nobodyherebutuschickens

    nobodyherebutuschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 20, 2010
    Erie, Colorado
    A few days ago, my 10 month old white orpington hen developed a bald spot on the back of her neck. We had been finding lots of feathers around the run as of late, and her baldness seems to be getting worse. It's all over, but worst on her neck and head. Her poo seems normal, and I haven't seen any of the others peck at her. I can see long feather shafts where she's bald. I haven't seen her in the nesting box, but I can't tell for sure if she's stopped laying. None of the other 7 hens are showing signs of baldness, but a week ago a few hens were trying to eat the styrofoam insulation. They didn't ingest much, and we've got it covered up now. They've always got water and food, and there's a layer of snow on the ground. It's supposed to get really cold soon, and I'm worried for her. Our coop is insulated, but no lamps or heaters to help her out. Here are some pics. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Sorry, she wouldn't stay still for me to get a good picture. But if you look closely, you can see her bald spots. Could it be that she's molting early? What do you guys think? And also, how should I keep her comfortable? I don't want her to freeze! Thanks!
     
  2. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Fair Oaks, California
    Looks like she's molting. i have several in molt right now, and it seems like such a bad time since it's so cold. But there are feathers everywhere and half bald chickens running around. It's normal.
     
  3. terrilhb

    terrilhb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2010
    Georgia
    I hope also it is molting. New to raising chickens sorry. Good luck and keep us informed:fl
     
  4. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    I have one hen whos feathers have just started to grow back in now and another (mine or BR) who is also starting her molt now! It seems like such a bad time.

    I have increased their protein simply by switching to Gamebird food, which is 24% protein since they require a lot of protein to regrow their feathers. From reading I understand that feather are composed of 85% protein.

    One other thing I should mention is that they are very uncomfortable at this stage so minimise touching them at this point. It is painful for them to be picked up when the feathers start to grow in and you could damage the feathers shaft causing it to grow crooked.

    It takes several weeks for them to loose their feathers but they start to regrow them almost as soon as the other fall out although it takes time for the feathers to attain their full length.
     
  5. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Reading
    Do you have a roo? Perhaps he isn't being too gentle on his favorite?
     
  6. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    Jan 10, 2010
    Vacationland, Maine
    I think it's also molting.

    Try telling my chickens that it's January in Maine... I had one molt in November/December and now 2 more started up this week!

    And they start on their faces and necks for some reason...

    Here's my pitiful looking BO.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. nobodyherebutuschickens

    nobodyherebutuschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 20, 2010
    Erie, Colorado
    Poor baby! Silly chicks, did nobody tell them that they would need feathers? But... How does one keep a molting chicken warm?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  8. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    Vacationland, Maine
    I don't worry about them getting cold. They are far from being naked.

    Mine all go outside and it's snowing. At night they are in the draft free and insulated coop. Runty (the one who molted in November and December and looked most pitiful) didn't even roost with anyone at night to stay warm.

    Just up their protein a bit, give them some black oil sunflower seeds daily, and they should be fine.
     
  9. nobodyherebutuschickens

    nobodyherebutuschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 20, 2010
    Erie, Colorado
    Awesome. Thanks so much!
     

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