Feather condition - question about molting, bathing and possible mites. Advice needed please.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jonalisa, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. jonalisa

    jonalisa Codswallop!

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    May 28, 2013
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    My Coop
    Sorry to combine so many issues in this post but this is my first year and it seems like everything is happening at once.

    • I have one Dominique whose neck is bare in the front only and I am finding her feathers (major handfuls of both small and large feathers) everywhere - mostly on the poopboard in the morning and also out in the run. I do not know if this is a molt or if she is being pecked???
    • I am seeing some poopy butt feathers on several other chickens and I want to know if right now is too cold to bathe (temps are hitting 20 deg F some days). I don't know how long it would take to dry them and can't keep them in the house for too long (I have to lock up my dogs).
    • Although I have looked but haven't seen mites or lice per se, I want to know if I should treat them all with Sevin dust, whether they are bathed or not?

    I hope to get some advice here, as I worry things will get out of hand. I always have this fear that I am not doing enough or I am realizing things too late!
    Thanks.
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    How old is the Dom? 18-ish months is the prime age for molting, and that can range from just losing some feathers on the neck to pretty much dumping the entire load.....

    I don't worry about some poop on the butt fluff from time to time so can't help you with that. Don't use Sevin, so can't help you there either except to say I'd not use it unless I visually say a parasite or had really goo reason to suspect the flock had issues, not just molting.
     
  3. jonalisa

    jonalisa Codswallop!

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    May 28, 2013
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    My Coop
    My Dominique is only 7 months old. So they don't molt this young? [​IMG] I guess it could be picking. I have No pick lotion - I guess I should put it on her neck then? I never thought of her as low on the pecking order, but I have recently noticed she sleeps with one other chicken at the opposite end of the roost.

    I am going to try and get a better visual with a flashlight tomorrow night when they are on the roost.
    Thanks!
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Agree 7 months is young, it may be a soft molt though. How many birds and how much space? Has the weather changed for you lately, causing them to be more confined?
     
  5. jonalisa

    jonalisa Codswallop!

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    May 28, 2013
    NH
    My Coop
    There are 9 hens in a 10 x 10 coop and a 12 by 16 run. They aren't really confined and I am out there a lot. They have all kinds of structures to roost on, dust bath areas and straw bales to pick through.
    Yes, Fall quickly became winter snows and temps are 10 F to 30 F.
    I now notice her pin feathers are coming in 360 degrees around her neck.
     

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