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Feather loss on front of throat

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MarieNC, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. MarieNC

    MarieNC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2010
    Hello all. I hope this is the right place to post this, but I'm not sure if it's a disease or if she is getting picked on by the other girls. I have 6 girls, age 6+ months. All of them have started laying eggs in the last month. This one in particular is a RIR. Today I noticed that all of the feathers along the front of her throat are missing. They aren't in a position that she could have picked them out herself b/c she can't reach there. My first thoughts say another chicken(s) is pecking at her, but I haven't seen any of this behavior in an exaggerated way. They all poke at each other from time to time. But I worry that there is some sort of disease/pest involved and I need to know what to look for. If she is getting picked on by other birds, how can I stop this? Will I need to confine her away from the other girls? They were all raised together since 2 days old, and there have never been any new additions. Any help anyone could suggest as to how to get to the bottom of this mystery would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Do you have any roosters? Is this hen the head rooster? If she is anything like my rooster, he lets the girls pull out all his neck feathers. [​IMG]
     
  3. MarieNC

    MarieNC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, I don't have any roosters. And they are all confined to their coop and run so it isn't some other animal that may have gotten ahold of her. I'm concerned about this.
     
  4. MarieNC

    MarieNC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bumping up for any additional input. Thanks!
     
  5. Barnyard

    Barnyard Addicted to Quack

    Aug 5, 2007
    Southwest Georgia
    Could she be starting to molt?
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You didn't answer whether this hen is the head hen. I'd say you need to sit and watch chicken TV a while. With no roo, one hen will usually take over the roo's role, sometimes even pretend-mounting other hens (I have had one do this here.) I suspect you will find she is the lead hen and others are pulling them. Not necessary abnormal.
     
  7. MarieNC

    MarieNC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:She is not the dominant hen. NOBODY picks on Dora (the dominant hen); this I have noticed. I'll sit out there with them for awhile and try to see what's going on. I just worry about the girls so. One thought is that I just switched them to layer feed about a week ago. Could this have any effect at all? Seems like they scatter it around more than eat it.
     
  8. Seasonsgirl

    Seasonsgirl New Egg

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    Mar 3, 2013
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    I am having the same issue and with a hen of mine. She is not the doment one, but I thought at first it was the other girls picking on her feather. Now I am not thinking that as I haven't seen them picking at her. Is the skin where the feather's should be red? I have posted about this on other sites and will let you know if I get a good answer. [​IMG]
     
  9. peeperz

    peeperz Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2012
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I have the same issue with some of my ladies... started with a couple of the Ameraucana's... I looked for parasites, but no evidence & I dusted them & have ashes & DE in a dustbath for them. I have been feeding FF for a couple of months in a trough & this started up...am I crazy or could this just be the wood edge of the trough rubbing off their neck feathers? If this is NOT it, just wondering when chickens start to moult, which feathers moult first?
     

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