feather loss, hen staying in coop all day

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sleeptighthouse, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. sleeptighthouse

    sleeptighthouse New Egg

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    Dec 26, 2009
    We have seven hens. One of them is losing feathers on her underside/stomach, and seems to be pecking at herself a lot. The other chickens have begun pecking at her as well. For the past couple days she has been staying in the egg box all day and will only come out to eat if we make her. She seems kind of weak. One day a couple eggs had red blood spots on the outside so I thought it might be mites, but the eggs have bee clean ever since. I haven't been feeding them antibiotic feed but wonder if I should start.
     
  2. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Does she puff up when you get close, and growl or try to peck you? It sounds to me like she's broody! She wants to hatch eggs and be a mama. They often pluck their chest/abdomen feathers so they can warm the eggs better.

    It's not a good idea to give antibiotics unless you know exactly what you're dealing with.
     
  3. sleeptighthouse

    sleeptighthouse New Egg

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    Dec 26, 2009
    She does puff up and make growly/rumbling noises when we try to move her, but has not attempted to peck. I wonder if something other than brooding is happening because she is the only chicken showing that behavior, she does seem to be weaker and losing weight, and is losing feathers well under her wings and butt--maybe more than just a brooding patch?? Are we paranoid? Thanks for the quick response...I hope you are right!
     
  4. tammyd57

    tammyd57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, it does sound like she's broody. She might seem weak because she is in her 'broody trance', and she won't be eating as much as normal so she will lose weight. My BO hatched out 5 chicks a couple weeks ago and only got off the nest once on her own that I saw, and I kept a pretty close eye on her since it was her first time. She would only eat or drink if I made her do it and she lost significant weight. Once the eggs hatched and she came out of the nest, she gained her weight back and was completely normal again within a week.
     

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