Feather loss question!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cluckyMcChicky, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. cluckyMcChicky

    cluckyMcChicky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2016
    nebraska
    [​IMG]
    Bad pictures, sorry. here is a profile shot of her head

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    This is a closeup of under her neck, this is what it looks like all around her neck now

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    Sorry so blurry, this is where her wings are, beneath the wings are similar to her neck, just bigger shafts

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    here you can really see where her tail feathers are missing.

    [​IMG]
    This kind of shows the underneath where her tail feathers should be.

    So I have a kind of small flock. one rooster and 5 hens. i noticed a couple of weeks ago in One of my Hens (Rhode Island red) that her tail feathers that are usually pointing up and the sky are either missing or just not pointing up. Today when I went out I noticed that her feathers just below her beak are gone, about half an inch of shaft is still there. It has been bitterly cold in my area (todays high a whopping 5*f) and snowy. Their coop is kind of shabby, but not drafty. Any ideas of whats going on here? is it just molting or because of weather maybe?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    If the feather shafts are still attached to her skin, then she isn't molting. She may be rubbing the feathers off somehow (possibly irritated by mites/lice) or be getting picked on by other birds.
     
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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  4. cluckyMcChicky

    cluckyMcChicky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2016
    nebraska
    they do! mostly. I can't get back out now because it just started snowing pretty hard, cant see out to the coop. but when I went out a while ago I caught her and took a closer look. the shafts look like they may have new feathers popping up through the middles. I checked for mites amd didn't see any. her skin looks ok. but the feather loss is expanding to around her neck.
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Keep watch on her, but if she looks like what you see in that thread she is most likely molting. Make sure she is eating and drinking well. Molting can be hard on them, so give her some extra protein like chopped egg or tuna. If she seems to be having a hard time or not feeling well, you can give her some poultry vitamins as well.

    Since you are having cold weather watch to see if she roosts with the others at night so she stays warm. I have one that is almost naked right now, I'm sure she is a bit chilly, but I checked her tonight and she was between my large rooster and another fluffy hen so she will be fine.

    Keep us posted.

    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/12/molting-what-is-it-and-how-to-help.html
     
  6. cluckyMcChicky

    cluckyMcChicky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2016
    nebraska
    will do. thank you. I'll still get pics tomorrow when I go out.
    we used to have 13 chickens but recently lost most of them to a neighbors visiting dog. I know the birds are not as warm as they used to be just because so many are gone. im considering moving them all into our garage
     
  7. cluckyMcChicky

    cluckyMcChicky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2016
    nebraska
    pics added
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Looks like she is molting to me. Over the next few days, she will lose more feathers, but you should start seeing the pin feathers coming in.

    Watch to make sure she is eating/drinking.
     
  9. cluckyMcChicky

    cluckyMcChicky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2016
    nebraska
    she seems to be eating and drinking fine. I do see some pin feathers and after reading about molting it makes sense. she's usually the only bird I can pick up but yesterday she absolutely hated it! I gave them all some boiled egg and tuna yesterday.
     
  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    If she is molting, then adding extra protein to her normal feed like your doing is good. Your other hens would most likely benefit from extra protein as well. Sometimes feather picking is due to lack of protein, especially if you see the offender eating the feather as well.

    Add some poultry vitamins to their water a couple of days a week and evaluate your coop space. If boredom is part of the issue, hang some veggies/fruit (cabbage, apple, greens).
     

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