Concerned about one of my Black Sex Linked - HELP!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by OperationHatch, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. OperationHatch

    OperationHatch Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2012
    Otsego, MI
    My Coop
    I have one of my ladies that is loosing A LOT of feathers. Sometimes I see this if there is a dispute and they gang up on one and start pecking at them, but this is different. Her feathers seem to be breaking off. Every time she stretches her wings there is an explosion of feathers around.

    I was able to catch her and get some pictures. She got away before I was done, my intention was to separate her from the rest. Once I post this, I am going to work on getting her again.

    Questions:

    What is going on?
    How do I fix it?
    What do I do with her?
    What do I do with her at night?


    All of our chickens are free-range. They do have a coop that is connected to a large outdoor dog run, but that is all I have to keep her secluded. I am trying to figure out how to keep her separate and still allow the other girls to the lay boxes.
    If this is the wrong place for this, let me know and I'll post it in the right thread.


    Here are some pictures:

    the top one is what she looks like "naturally" with her feathers down, the second one is the back of her neck, and the third is her back.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. OperationHatch

    OperationHatch Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2012
    Otsego, MI
    My Coop
    If this is molting, I've never seen it like this before, loosing so many at once and none of the others are. I'm concerned because it's so cold out!

    I"m going to feel like an idiot if this is a normal molt. I've had this one for almost 3 years now and none of them have done this.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  3. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
    Maryland
    I have an easter egger who looks like that. She's been that way for a few months now. I figured the rooster pulled them out and the hens got the idea and kept it up. But, I've not seen them pulling them any more and she's still bald?
     
  4. OperationHatch

    OperationHatch Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2012
    Otsego, MI
    My Coop
    We don't have any roosters around other than a random Pheasant, but I don't think this would be the extent of mating. We used to have a hen that would try to "dominate" some of the others by climbing on them like a Rooster would, but this is her whole back. Her chest seemed fine but I didn't get to look too well. There are no abrasions that looks like she's being pecked at.

    My biggest concern is the temperature - she has no feathers to keep her warm.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Looks like molting to me. Some of my birds I can hardly tell they're molting from looking at them--they look normal but there's a ton of feathers on the ground. Then I have a few who do this bald look---it's not a good look for a chicken!

    So---don't stress her and try not to handle her until her feathers grow back. Some folks feel the new quills growing in can make handling the bird painful. Increase protein in her diet. It usually doesn't take long for pretty new feathers to grow in. It's normal for them to molt in the fall, I've never lost a bird to the cold. I figure God knew what he was doing, giving them a nice new batch of feathers for the winter!

    I wouldn't try to seperate her from the others. My molting birds just naturally don't interact much with the other birds. Since you free range you have less chance of anyone picking on her. I've not had a problem other birds picking on a molting bird. Just expect her to be kind of listless and self-isolating for a week or so. Then she'll be showing her new feathers off to the flock!
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
    2 people like this.
  6. OperationHatch

    OperationHatch Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2012
    Otsego, MI
    My Coop
    thanks, I was a little nervous. I don't know how I could have had these birds for so long and not see molting like this. I'm just glad she's not sick.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  7. OperationHatch

    OperationHatch Out Of The Brooder

    95
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    43
    Oct 24, 2012
    Otsego, MI
    My Coop
    going into the winter we supply them with a lot of layer feed because there isn't as much available for them while they free range... is that enough or is there something i should be adding to supplement more?
     
  8. OperationHatch

    OperationHatch Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2012
    Otsego, MI
    My Coop
    The farmer from next door is going to come and take a look at her tomorrow to be sure that it's just molting.
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Southern Oregon
    I don't change my birds food according to molting, everyone here gets an all-in-one. Lots of folks like to supplement with scrambled eggs, or sunflower seeds. Personally, if I want to increase protein, I'd give them eggs or meat, cooked beans, something like that.
     
  10. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    She is molting, all is well. Mine went through a hard molt also and those are just feathers growing in. We do supplement extra protein during molting, my birds grow out faster and do better. I give oatmeal cooked, yogert and Raisens, sunflower seeds and yep scrambled eggs. Oh and a can of cat food once in a while.
     

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