Feather loss in 2 of our hens ?????

missydney

Chirping
5 Years
Jul 14, 2014
25
3
79
we have four hens that are almost a year old. for the last month I have noticed that some of the feather are being lost in some areas on top of their bodies. at first I thought it was either mites or fleas but I have cleaned the coop and applied DE and also a poultry dust in the coop and on the hens also. this has done nothing for them. we have four hens but only two have been showing this type of issue. our hens will be a year old the first week of June, they have been eating, foraging, laying etc. all fine with no signs of illness.

can anyone please help me and tell me what is going on here, I am afraid I am going to have two bald hens soon. not to mention today we have just picked up 8 chicks that will be united with them sometime in July/August...... below is a picture on the hens, this has gotten worse since this picture this particular hen has no feathers now where you see the white on her back and wings.....

 

TexasTea

Hatching
May 15, 2015
1
0
6
I have the same thing going on. It started in one hen and now has affected another. I also have treated for mites and fleas.....Anyone have any ideas?
 

missydney

Chirping
5 Years
Jul 14, 2014
25
3
79
molting this time of the year? when is the regular time of the year that they molt? this is my first year with chickens...... how come the other 2 i have are not doing this? thanks so much for your input.....
 

TalkALittle

Songster
5 Years
Dec 15, 2014
1,661
725
191
Massachusetts
Sorry, didn't see that they were all the same age. Given that they are all going to be just one year old, molting is unlikely. Molting usually happens in late autumn and usually not a heavy molt, if any, the first year. Depending on what hemisphere you are in, and when your autumn is will determine when your birds start to molt.

My bet would be on mites or lice. What did you treat them with and how many times did you apply it? In order to kill all mites and lice you often need to treat more than once--the first time gets the live bugs and subsequent treatments get the ones that hatch later. As for only two of your birds being affected, sometimes the girls that tend to hang out in the nest boxes longer will be more affected by the mites.

The other thing is that you could have a feather picker(s). Though I'm thinking that if enough feather picking was taking place to cause that much damage, you'd have noticed the behavior by now--unless the birds are doing it at a time when you aren't there to observe them. Sometimes long stretches of confinement in close quarters lead to feather picking ("long stretches" is somewhat subjective to the individual bird/breed temperament as some do better with confinement than others). The more submissive birds would likely be the ones getting picked most.
 

missydney

Chirping
5 Years
Jul 14, 2014
25
3
79
thanks so much for the info. we are just now into our spring/early summer so molting i am thinking isn't the issue..... i have treated them two times now with a powder and i can't think of the name of it right off hand i also treated the coop/roost etc. but not the nest boxes as the directions said not too. is there a product that you can recommend for this issue of fleas/mites? i have DE and another powder on hand.
 

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