Feather Issues

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KellyG8, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. KellyG8

    KellyG8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi! I have six chickens all a year old. My two buff orpingtons are not having this issue, but all four of my SLW seem to be getting these fluffy feathers by their tails.

    The beginning: The first girl to get the fluffy tail feathers ended up getting a large bald spot by the base of the tail and after observation I saw many of the other girls, including herself, were pecking at the area. So I increased protein, put an apron on her, and now itsmuch better, but still fluffy. (First picture)

    Currently, each SLW has the fluffy tail feathers. A new girl has a bald spot! (second picture) And two others arent being pecked at, but their tail feathers look odd too. (Third picture)

    I'm wondering what people think might be causing the fluffy tail feathers - molting? I Have inspected everywhere for lice and mites, even at night - no luck. I don't have a too. They free range all afternoon and there hasn't been any changes in feed. Just want my girls to have their nice feathers back and the picking to end! :( Thanks for any help!

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  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Watch to see if they are picking at one another, especially at night when roosting. The Uropygial Gland (preening gland/oil gland) is at the base of the tail where it looks like they have the most feather loss. Look to see if that is inflamed for some reason.

    The feathers look stripped. Do they take dust baths?
     
  3. KellyG8

    KellyG8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi! Thanks for responding. I have been able to watch at night and I definitely see pecking, but it's directed toward just one girl. The first one I applied blu-kote and the apron - feathers coming back in but still has that odd look to it. Now it's the one in the second picture.

    Oil glands look good. They dust bath occasionally - there's a nice spot in the run they usually choose. What do you mean by stripped? I have noticed the feather loss sort of follows a line up the back. Wings and vent area dont get touched.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Picking causes are from being too hot, too crowded, short of fresh air, coop too brightly lit or the protein is too low in the feed....Feeding treats and scraps daily dilute the balance in feed....



    Cheers!
     
  5. KellyG8

    KellyG8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! The picking has been a pretty easy issue to fight, but I cannot figure out why all of the SLW are getting these fluffy feathers by the base of their tails. I looked at pictures from earlier in the winter and there is nothing like it. Has anyone observed this? Picture three shows the two girls that have not been picked at all - but have the poofy feathers. [​IMG]
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    What I mean by stripped is like the feather part itself has been taken off leaving the shaft - giving the feathers a "chewed" appearance. This can be from over preening, mites/lice or from another hen pulling/nipping feathers.

    What have you used to give extra protein?

    I see that they have all the downy feathers exposed. Do you see any new growth - any pin feathers coming back in to replace the ones that are lost?
     
  7. KellyG8

    KellyG8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2016
    Oh - stripped - gotcha! So the fluff by the base is probably the natural down? And the usual feathers that cover all of that are missing. I was concerned the feathers were changing.

    For extra protein, I've been giving scrambled eggs and meal worms. I've been sprouting barley seeds to keep them occupied in the run. The picking all seems to happen at night. Pin feathers are slowly coming in on the girl with the apron.

    Maybe today I'll go out and look into feather fixer feed. Any opinions? I already went out this morning and applied mannapro poultry protector and blu-kote on any bare areas. I appreciate this community so much! Thank you!
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Yes, the fluff looks like downy feathers to me[​IMG] The "hard" feathers are missing.

    Scrambled egg and meal worms are a good source of protein. I have not used feather fixer - I don't know what protein % it is - I have read good things about it, but just don't have personal experience with it. Personally I aim for 18-20% protein. So I use a flock raiser formula (20%) year round. I just make sure I have oyster shell free choice for my layers.
     
  9. longfellow

    longfellow New Egg

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    My brother in law is trying to figure out why there is blood on the outside of his chickens. He has lost 4 out of 20 in 2 day... anyone know what is causing it?? What he can give them. They are not free range.
     
  10. KellyG8

    KellyG8 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm sorry to hear that Longfellow - I'm not sure what could be causing that. Could you provide any more information?

    Wyorp Rock - my feed place didn't have any feather fixer, but they did have a multi flock starter at 22%. Think I could go ahead and feed that for a little while? It's a non medicated starter, so I don't think it could ever hurt them. Just different analysis. My old feed is just 17% protein
     

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