Concerned, egg layers off, hens thinning and losing feathers.......

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8 Years
Jan 6, 2012
Hello, I am new here and we have a small farm up in Maine, we have had chickens for several years, the coop I am referring to now is a mixed batch containing Black Sexlinks and Barred Rock Hens, 1 Barred Rock Rooster total of 19, 18 months old. Lately in the past week to ten days egg production has gone from 16 a day to maybe 4 or 5, I have a couple Sexlinks looking thin and majority of birds have missing feathers, naked backs and tails. A couple a little watery stools most are looking normal however there. They all seem quieter than usual.
After writing that I have to say the weather up here in Maine has been crazy this winter, 45 degrees one day three nights later 4 degrees. We will get a week of 20 to 30 degree days 10 degree nights then 40+ come back.

Any help would be great,
Thanks Michelle
The missing feathers could be from overmating or possible molting. Do you have a regular worming schedule. They could have worms even if you dont see any in the poop. Weight loss is a good sign of worms. The worms will consume all the nutrients and starve the chicken. I would worm if you havent before any get sick because worming is hard on them do it while they are in decent shape. If they are wormy and you dont deworm your wasting money just feeding worms.
* They moulted for about 7 weeks this fall, then went to laying never really growing many feathers back.....
*I have not wormed them before, what do you use and how. Any eggs layed during what period should not be comsumed?
Thanks, M.
i use eprinex (ivermectin) about 6-9 drops on the skin (under the feathers) under the ruff, on top of the neck. 6 for smaller pullets, 9 for my big roos, etc. there is no withdrawal period for milk when this is used on cows so i do not refrain from eating (though i do not sell eggs for 2 weeks after). this is a wormer used on humans in some countries.

some say use wazine (piperazine) the first worming, as it is easier on them, and follow up with eprinex a week or two later. with wazine there is a waiting period. check for yourself but i believe it is two weeks.
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