Extreme feather loss in lone chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by amyvk, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. amyvk

    amyvk New Egg

    May 31, 2007
    Hi all. I have one Black Osterlorp who, for months, has had some very specific feather loss. She has some very red irritated looking skin with no feathers surrounding her tail area. If it was just that, I'd think it was the roosters - however, her entire breast is virtually bare as well, and I can't imagine how they'd get to that. She is the only chicken out of a flock of 9 hens and 2 docile roosters who has any feather problems. I've read a little bit on mites, but I would think if one chicken had them, they all would. Any thoughts?

    Thanks! Amy in Cooperstown
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    We've never had mites, but I'm wondering if you have examined her to see if she has any crawlies on her?

    Could she be molting? I have a few hens who lose all their tail feathers first when starting to molt.

    Is she broody? A broody hen will remove her breast feathers to help keep the eggs and chicks warm.

    How is her health otherwise?

    edited: now if I could just type [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  3. amyvk

    amyvk New Egg

    May 31, 2007
    Otherwise she seems healthy. I've not seen any mites (though have not examined her REALLY closely - will do that). I just assumed that if she had mites, the others would too. She's definately not broody - wanders around the yard all day long with the other chickens. I believe she's still laying. This has been going on since at least February or March, so I can't imagine she's molting. She just looks awful.
  4. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have two Australorps that went thru an extremely bad molt starting in Dec. One is just about finished up and laying eggs again the other still has a bit more to go. They kept laying those eggs forever and that had something to do with it. If they are laying then they are using all their protien energy for the egg production instead of feather production. One had a really red rear as you say yours has. As she got closer to being feathered in that redness vanished. I gave them extra protien but what seemed to really help was when I started them on Avia Charge 2000 daily and have given it to them free choice for about 2mo. now. You can get the Avia charge thru McMurrey. The feathers started coming in about two weeks or so after starting them on the Avia Charge. You should also check for a secondary infection such as bumble foot. If she is in a hard molt an infection will just stress her body out more delaying her feathering in that much longer. I am sure some others will have some good advise for you to check on. Take care and I hope you are able to help out your Australorp.
  5. a2ms4chickens

    a2ms4chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    I don't know how to help you, as I have a MGB roo who started losing his feathers in April. Last month, he could not walk, so I looked him over and he did have mites. I treated him, and all of our birds, with Sevin 5%, and vitamins/electrolytes.

    He got his strength back, but he lost his feathers on his legs, in addition to the chest feathers. I did see where the feathers are starting to come back on his legs and on his chest.

    I have been giving him some of the grower feed for additional protein in the hopes that he would feather out better. I was also giving him the black oil sunflower seeds too, but I ran out.

    So, I am hoping for suggestions on this thread that would help me out, too. I hope you don't mind.

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