Feather loss - juvenile molt or more serious problem?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by theothermaryd, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. theothermaryd

    theothermaryd Hatching

    Apr 4, 2011
    Our 7 month old mixed breed flock of 12 pullets have been laying for a couple of months now. The last few weeks, we have noticed some with odd feather loss. One just above her tail, one on each side below her wings, now one on her posterior belly. The last one's skin on her belly was so red I thought she had prolapsed but it's just complete feather loss. The rest are looking "scruffy" but have no obvious bald patches. They are big so we enlarged the nest boxes thinking they were scraping the sides of the boxes but that didn't help.

    We brought the one we thought was prolapsed in the house, washed her off and were prepared to treat the prolapse, so I got a good look at her. There's no evidence of parasites. All the girls, including her, act just fine. We keep a light on in the coop from 3-7 pm, no extra light in the morning. They are laying up a storm, almost an egg per hen per day. We have only gotten one egg with a soft shell and that was today.

    Could this be juvenile molt? Is it possible to have parasites without seeing any? I dust the roosts and floor with diatomaceous earth every time I clean the coop. Could it be a dietary deficiency, especially calcium since they are laying so much? We feed Blue Seal Egg Maker crumbles and give oyster shell free choice. Any other thoughts? They have never been wormed but we have seen no evidence of worms and they don't free range, they stay in a large, sandy run or the coop. If it's juvenile molt is there anything I need to do to prevent them from picking at each other's bald patches?

    Thank you for any help you can give me.

    Vermont farm girl and her city boy husband with 2 Golden Comets, 2 Black Stars, 2 Buff Orps, 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Gold-laced Wyandottes, 1 Welsummer and 1 "Easter Egger" who lays brown eggs

  2. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    Use Bluekote on the bald patches to let it heal and keep others from pecking. Careful though cuz its pretty messy to use. Or use neosporin just without the pain reliever added one. Don tknow about molting hopefully someone else will answer.

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