Feather issues with just one of my birds

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by power_of_p3, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. power_of_p3

    power_of_p3 New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Jul 26, 2011
    Hi, I'm Jo and I'm new to this forum though I have had some useful info from you in the past [​IMG]

    I'm having a really hard time trying to figure out what maybe wrong with my black rock. She has a really bad feather condition and noone seems to have any clue what is wrong with her. It's affecting her eggs and she's becoming quite skinny even though she eats like a horse. She's about two years old and lives in a large run with seven other chickens, all of various breeds and ages, she is the only one showing any signs of this, though one of my warrens is laying softies too. This has been going on for nearly six months now, she gets a little better and then gets worse again. They have all been treated (over the last six months) for red mite, scaly leg and worms.

    I use ACV, poultry spice and limeflour regularly. ACV every few water changes, poultry spice everyday and limeflour once a fortnight.

    I'm not sure what else I can tell you that is relevant, please feel free to ask me ANY questions, I'm at my wits end tryikng to figure this out and although she seems happy enough and eats plenty I don't know how much longer she will be able to put up with this [​IMG] please help if you can.

    Thanks ~~jo~~

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  2. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

    685
    2
    131
    Mar 22, 2010
    NH
    I have one like this too, I can not see your pics on this computer, but sure sounds the same, misssing feathers, dull feathers and runny egg whites. She is happy, active and lays everyday, but she looks like crap! I have tried eveything to no avail. I hope someone gives you some good advice , because I need it too
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,010
    4,660
    581
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    [​IMG]

    There are a few diseases that can cause feather loss along with mites and lice. But it sounds like you have already tried treating them for mites and bugs. Not enough protein can cause them to lose feathers or even pluck them and eat them for the protein. Others may be plucking them also and if you don't see any feathers laying around, they all may be eating them. As you mention, one of your other girls has layed soft shelled eggs.

    Make sure they are getting the proper amount of protein in their diet. You can add some Gamebird food into their food which is really high in protein. Offer them some meal worms also. Even recycle their eggs back into them by hard boiling them and feeding as a treat.

    And make sure they are getting enough calcium. Keep the oyster shell out at all times. If they spend their days outside in a run, keep the food outside with them as they may not care to go into the coop and eat and may not be getting enough of the good stuff.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  4. power_of_p3

    power_of_p3 New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Jul 26, 2011
    Hi twocrows, thanks for the advice and the welcome [​IMG] . They have an outside run and a covered run, connected and unfortunately i cannot let them into the garden, but they have loads of room. the back run where the coop is is a walk in for me so it's over six foot high with roosts all over the place with the coop/night roost in and the outside one is about two and a half feet high. One is covered and one is netted. I was wondering whether there might be a light issue?

    What foods can you suggest for protein? They currently have layers pellets and mash and a little bit of mixed corn every night. in the winter they get sweetcorn every night but as it's so much warmer now I was told it wasn't a good idea to feed them that as it warms them up too much, and since then I've had loads of problems. they have constant access to mixed grit and oyster shell #9in separate containers) and I do see her taking it. In terms of their diet they generally get these foods as extras - pasta, rice, tomatoes, cabbage and weeds from the garden. Sometimes a little soft fruit, like blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. They used to have boiled veg every two or three days (potato peelings, carrots peeling, outside of caulies. Basically the stuff that we don't eat) but as we were getting softies back then too it was suggested to stop giving them the veg and make them eat mixed corn and pellets, was this a bad piece of advice?

    I'm a little reluctant to give them their own eggs back as I have two that used to harass the others while they were laying and then break the eggs, and since I've been getting the softies they were eating them too. though I think they must've had a bad one a few weeks ago cause they haven't done it in a while.

    May it be a good idea to not treat her with any more powder? Tammye, have you been treating yours with red mite powder? just in case she's actually built up an allergy to it, it could happen right? Although the times at which she appeared to improve for like, a week, she was bathed in a flea dip for small dogs. I've not done anything in the last month to see if perhaps I was compounding the problem by trying to treat it but I would say she is just about the same now as she was then. She can also be kinda hot to touch, hotter than the temperature of a broody straight off the nest.

    the frustrating thing is that she is the only one like this and although I have another girl laying softies too (a warren) noone else has feather problems.

    Thanks ~~jo~~
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,010
    4,660
    581
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Sounds like you are doing everything you can for her. I doubt it is a light problem though. Meal worms are a good source of protein and as I had mentioned, gamebird food is really high in protein. You could throw some in with the regular feed.

    Have you checked really good in the coop for mites and eggs? They tend to hide under the roost bars and in the nest boxes. Bedding too. If you are not seeing any mites or bugs, then I wouldn't keep dusting with Sevin as it could become toxic at some point. You could try a permethrin spray. That will kill mites on contact.

    She could be just pulling these feathers out herself. Either a neurological issue or again a protein need. There are feather diseases that cause birds to go somewhat bald or completely bald. I have heard of these folks making sweaters for their birds after they went completely bald.

    Other than what I have mentioned I have no other clues as to what she might have. You could try putting vitamins in the water and see if maybe she is missing something in her diet. Sounds like she is getting plenty of good foods. But a few extra vitamins and minerals couldn't hurt.

    Good luck with your hen. [​IMG]
     
  6. power_of_p3

    power_of_p3 New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Jul 26, 2011
    Thank you twocrows,

    I did notice one of my light sussex eating feathers last night but she was eating the ones from my silkie that's just come off being broody and is going through a light moult because of [brooding]. Roxy, (the black rock) isn't pulling any feathers out, she just appears to not be able to grow them properly. I think you may be onto something with the vitamins, considering what Lacey is doing too, perhaps they are missing some vitamins. Nice long trip to my equestrian this weekend to stock up me thinks.

    Thanks for your advice, I'll take it into consideration with everything else I have found out in the past week, like garlic could be helpful too or it might be the bark I'm using in the run. I swear every one on facebook groups is sick of me by now lol.

    I'll [try] to remember to come and give an update in a few weeks (for tammye), cause by all accounts I am not going to solve this over night.

    ~~jo~~
     
  7. Kitty Cat

    Kitty Cat Chillin' With My Peeps

    126
    1
    91
    Jun 13, 2011
    Campos De La Gracia
    Vitamin A and E are both necessary for feather growth, you could try giving extra of that. I just but supplements from walmart and let them dissolve in water then put in their drinking water, sounds like you might have calcium deficiency from softie egss. You could also try soaking her in some warm water and epsom salt to help with the skin inflammation, separating her may also help if it is indeed pecking from other chickens.
     
  8. Emily1220

    Emily1220 Chillin' With My Peeps

    154
    3
    91
    May 24, 2011
    Florida
    I have 5 girls that look exactly like that!! For about the last six months. After trying everything I could possibly do I took one to the vet.......costly mistake!! He said it was mites and to treat with ivermectin. BUT.....I have never seen a bug on any of them or in the coop. I have thoroughly checked dozens of times, in daylight and a night!!! And now, they still look like that. It looks really sore but doesnt seem to effect them. They eat good and poop good and lay a nice egg every day. I am at a loss what to try next.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by