Concerned that this is more than normal shedding

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Robiwais, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. Robiwais

    Robiwais Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 1, 2013
    Hi,

    A couple of months ago I started seeing that one of my five chickens (a Dominique) started loosing feathers in her bottom and that the feathers around her tail were becoming kind of fussy. I started a thread here and several people said to check for mites (haven't seen any) and otherwise it could be just regular shedding. Since this is my first time with chickens (all of them are about 10 months old, raised them from 1 week old chicks), I am concerned that it is something more serious. My other 4 chickens (2 Ameracaunas and 2 Plymouth Rocks) are heavier than this one. Although I haven't seen any problems with the Dominique in terms of eating or drinking water. Any suggestions based on the attached photos?

    Thank you,
    Roberto




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  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Normal "shedding," or molting, starts around the head and neck, and works its way down. That looks like feather picking, meaning others are pulling her feathers out, possibly eating them. She may be low on the pecking order, and she may even have something wrong internally and they recognize this. If she's lowest in the pecking order, they may be keeping her away from food and water to sme extent. Feather picking, when more widespread, is usually due to stress and overcrowding, or too little protein, or a combination of them. Is that her back in the second picture? If you have a rooster, mating could also be a factor, especially if she is his "favorite."

    Pics of molting: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/580915/for-the-new-folks-that-havent-experienced-a-molt-yet/0_20

    Molting article: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickens-loosing-feathers-managing-your-flocks-molt

    Feather picking: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/517547/peepers-removed-and-no-feather-picking-d/0_20#post_6586027

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/697052/i-think-i-found-a-miracle-cure-for-feather-picking/0_20

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/back-to-basic-living-feather-picking-plucking-and-cannibalism
     

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