Dropping feathers need help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Fancypants1, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. Fancypants1

    Fancypants1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 5 month old GLW and the past week she has been losing feathers by the hand full. I got her 3 weeks ago so she has been in the basement in quarantine. She is not really eating much (only scratch mix). I tried to give her finisher pellets but she does not like it. When I check on her there are feathers all around her in closure. I did do a quick check for bugs but it's not easy to do by yourself. She does not like to be held. Anything else I should be looking for? Should I give her tuna or electrolytes? I am worry that she is not getting enough nutrients.

    Any advise would be welcomed!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    How light is it down there?
    It could be a heavy molt from reduced lighting/no sunlight. 3 weeks would be about the right amount of time of reduced lighting.
    If she is molting, switch her to a higher protein grower feed and try to increase the light. If she doesn't improve it may be something else.
    Look around the vent and under wings for mites/lice.
     
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  3. Fancypants1

    Fancypants1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a small basement window and i leave the overhead light on all day, just turn it off at night. The lightbulb is 100 or 75 watts. This is making sense now that you are bringing this up. I have someone coming over today so maybe they can help hold her while I check her out better with a flashlight. Anything I can give her as in real food until I can get her a higher protein food? We are getting another blizzard - 18+ inches of snow tonight and can not get to the feed store until mid week.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Tuna, canned mackerel, any kind of fish plain yogurt, cottage cheese, meat cut up small to fit down the esophagus, mealworms. Animal protein is always best for omnivores and carnivores since it has a complete complement of amino acids. The yogurt isn't that high in protein unless it's a high grade of greek yogurt but the probiotics are good.

    She'll really love you if you feed her fish, cottage cheese and meat. Any meat will work. Beef, pork, chicken, turkey, etc..
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  5. Fancypants1

    Fancypants1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great thanks. I have tuna, mealworms (dried) and some ham I can cut up. I will get some higher protein feed this week. What about adding electrolyte to her water? Is that enough light?
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Careful with the ham. It's probably too high in salt. Stick with the tuna and mealworms. Electrolytes are never a bad idea.
    My basement used to have 3 100 watt incandescent lamps and I could barely see down there. I installed 4 double 8' fluorescent fixtures and finally I could see. You could add a droplight with another light source. Doesn't matter if it's fluorescent, incandescent, halogen or LED- just as long as it's more light.
    Don't feel too bad though, low light is what commercial farms do to induce molt.
    Has she ever laid eggs? Probably not.
    That's not all bad if the problem is light. She will need to be primarily on a chicken feed so she can get vitamin D until she gets out in the sun.
     
  7. Fancypants1

    Fancypants1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good point about the salt. No eggs. Maybe I will add some more light until I can get her out with the rest. Which will be another ordeal. Never integrated a new chicken before, I'm very nervous.

    How about some scrambled eggs for protein? We have a ton LOL.
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Eggs, while high quality food, are only 13% protein so that won't help.
     
  9. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Don't forget that there isn't a chicken version of Thomas Edison so most modern light bulbs like compact Florissant's are deficient in the infrared range of natural Sun light. Florissant bulbs should say "Full Spectrum" on them to give your chickens the full benefits of natural Tropical High Noon Sun light. You people in the high (numbered) Northern and Southern Latitudes will also feel a Winter mood improvement with Full Spectrum bulbs.

    Scratch grains are also low in Protein. It is a common practice in Commercial flocks to force a un-natural molt on flocks of hens of a certain age, the better to get them back into production in time for certain high egg demand and price periods like Thanksgiving/Christmas or Easter. It sounds to me like you may have triggered a forced molt in a flock of one with protein starvation..

    Getting back to light: almost every part of a chickens' life is governed by the number of daylight hours and the intensity of the light. It tells the hen when to lay and it ups the roosters' hormone levels so that he is better able to fertilize the resulting eggs. Then the decreasing hours and intensity of daylight starts the molt in both sexes and gets them ready to once more produce young. I even think that the chickens' close relationship to the changing of the seasons played an important part in establishing the ancient [​IMG] practice of forecasting the future by reading the intestines of chickens.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015

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