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Feather Loss Extreme!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Miyashi, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. Miyashi

    Miyashi Songster

    Apr 20, 2011
    Gaylord, MI
    I've posted about this before...but I'll try again...
    My year old Ameracauna hen has no feathers around her vent, her underside is bare and under her wings is bare as well. She's starting to lose feathers at the base of her neck.
    She's been like this for 4-5 months. She acts healthy. She eats and drinks and acts like a normal chicken. (She is also missing a lot on her back from the roo, a saddle has helped that part at least)
    I cannot find ANY bug ANYWHERE on ANY of my birds or in the coop/nesting boxes.
    This week I'm starting a higher protein diet to see if that does anything.
    I'm not thinking this is a molt because it's been so long. I just want her to have all of her feathers by winter.
    Some of my other birds are losing feathers at the base of their necks, but none are as bad as her. It seems to be here and the larger breed birds. My bantams are all normal.
    Any advice would be great.

  2. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Songster

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    I had the neck thing too but it was from the roos we had. They grab on there so they tend to pull feathers out too. I also had a RIR that had no feathers on her backside. There was some fuz at the base of her tail, but the rest was bare. She was the favorite of the roo too. She was like this for years and had no problem, I just watched her in the winter for frostbite.

    Don't know how much I can help, but good luck.
  3. jesslyn

    jesslyn Hatching

    Aug 15, 2011
    I have found that sometimes hens are a little hard on hens. I have several who who have lost feathers, no roos around, no mites, plenty of food. I separated into a smaller group separate from the large flock and feathers are growing back. Don't know quantity of birds you have/per floor space but sometimes overcrowding causes bad behavior which results in loss of feathers.
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Is it possible that she is the rooster's favorite gal? Losing feathers at the base of the neck sounds like a rooster may be doing that.

    Around the vent, I'm wondering if, since she's been bald a while, if one of the others is pecking her. If you can take some time to "flock watch" for a while. You may just be able to find the culprit. (And it's probably the hen or rooster that has ALL of their feathers...)

    I would spray all the bald spots with Blue Cote, which protects the skin and helps promote healing. Chickens aren't attracted to the blue coloring, so that helps.

    There are certain parasites, I believe they are a type of mite, that hide inside the coop, and not necessarily on the bird, during the day, then they come out and feast on the birds when they are roosting. Could that be the problem?

    Just throwing out some ideas for you, and I hope you solve this mystery!

    Good luck,
  5. Miyashi

    Miyashi Songster

    Apr 20, 2011
    Gaylord, MI
    We dust our coop monthly, remove bedding and what not. We even dust the walls. I bleached the coop not too long ago and the problem still persists. But she's the only one who looks so mangy. I just want her to be feathered out before winter. Otherwise she'll have to come stay inside with me and that is NOT her favorite thing. She's one of the higher up hens, so no one really messes with her. The only time they did was when I put the saddle on her but I think it was just because she was acting silly. I have 20 birds. Their coop is 8x9. They free range and are only close together at night. So I can't see the overcrowding being part of her issue.
    I sprayed her with blue kote a few times and it didn't seem to help anything at all. Just made her purple. [​IMG]
    I'm so confused here! I don't know what to do!
  6. Miyashi

    Miyashi Songster

    Apr 20, 2011
    Gaylord, MI
    I've tried looking this up everywhere and I can't come up with anything. Maybe she'll just have to stay indoors this winter.
  7. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Songster

    May 25, 2009
    I have a barred rock with the same problem - her bottom is bare. I believe it's my dominant hen though. Whom I've even seen mounting my other hens - and gets loud in the am like she's trying to be a roo. Silly girl.
    Unfortunately, it could be a lot of things, or a combination of things - and may take a while to figure out. Patience - and process of elimination should eventually narrow it down for you.
    Hope you do though - poor girl ! The cool breeze during the summer is probably nice, but could be a problem for frostbite in the winter (if you're in one of those areas like I am that get snow and ice and all that yucky stuff).

    edit - just saw you are in MI - so yes, it does get cold there too ... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011

  8. Mama duck 8

    Mama duck 8 Chirping

    May 28, 2011
    I know I hate it when my roosters do that too!!! But there are hen aprons that you can buy that will help the hens..[​IMG]
  9. chickendot

    chickendot In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2008
    Northern Nevada
    I have the same problem with 4 of my BR's and 1 white rock.. initially it was from the roo, be he is no longer with us. Then we had 2 white's that were feather puller's, they've been given to a friend. I've watched the flock, no more feather pullers but they are not getting any new feathers either. I will try the Blue Cote to see if that helps. Some threads said it could be a protein issue but i've supplemented with BOSS and no dif either. Hope yours get feathered before winter, we get pretty cold here in No NV also but they all seem to huddle at night and last winter they were fine, but i'll have to watch close.
  10. Miyashi

    Miyashi Songster

    Apr 20, 2011
    Gaylord, MI
    Yeah, I've tried to boost the amount of protein they get and I've tried the aprons. The apron was helping where the rooster mounts her, but not the underside issues. She doesn't lay in her stool....so that can't be it.
    I dunno! I guess I'll try getting some spray and spraying the entire coop after I clean it out to kill potential mites hiding in the wood. It's really the only thing I can see being the issue...but I do find it odd that it would only be her. =\\
    I'll try the blue cote again after I've done that...see if that helps.
    And yes! I do live in an area with frost and 10 foot snow drifts! Winter is most of my year! It's fabulous.... [​IMG]
    I really have no idea why I live here. [​IMG]
    I hope all of our hens get their feathers back or we'll have some special house guests over the winter...I know I will if that's the case. [​IMG]
    Thanks for all the advice/opinions. I appreciate them.

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