Feather loss

cluckydog

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 27, 2013
17
0
22
Hey Backyard chickens community,
I've got whats probably a very common problem among novice chook owners, and thats feather loss. The most submissive chicken in my flock of Rhode Island reds has had feather loss for a while now, dominantly around her neck, breasts and under her wings on her body (not her actual wings).
I'm not entirely sure the cause of the feather loss, my parents aren't willing to take her to the vet, but I don't think it's the food or water because none of the other chook have lost feathers, and that also eliminates the possiblity of hazards in the coop, plus I've looked around and it doesn't look hazardous at all.
I haven't seen signs of mites or ticks or fleas and she has had it for a while so it can't be maulting (For maybe a few months) plus none of the other chooks which are her age have maulted yet either.
I think mostly it's because she is being picked on, I know she is the omega in the flock but how can I be sure? What can I do to fix it? For a while we've put garlic in her water but seen no change.
All advice will be appreciated. Thanks
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NOTE: I don't know how old the chickens are but I'll look around for documents on when we purchased them and at what age and try to figure out.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
579
448
South Georgia
Have you actually examined her for mites/lice? You aren't likely to see them unless you do, and for some species, you will only see them at night.

Do they have access to good forage and bugs? Is it a vegetarian feed? Do you give them a bunch of low protein treats or scraps? If they are feeling a bit protein deprived, they may be doing it to get the protein in the feathers. Watch them a while if you can and see if you see them pulling feathers and eating them. The most common causes of feather picking / eating (if that is what it is) are too little space which leads to boredom, and too little protein -- which could cause them to eat mostly the omega's feathers, especially in a small flock. It can become a habit, too, which correcting any feed or beoredom problems may not break. Or, there could be another cause entirely.

http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html

http://www.multiscope.com/hotspot/featherpicking.htm

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/517547/peepers-removed-and-no-feather-picking-d/0_20#post_6586027

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/697052/i-think-i-found-a-miracle-cure-for-feather-picking/0_20
 
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cluckydog

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 27, 2013
17
0
22
Allright thanks so much! I dont think they're getting enough protein because its a entirely vegetarian diet although occasionally they get to a dead bird that my cat catches (those poor things) which I try to keep off them but being at school all day theres no1 to tell them no. I need some tips on managing the pigeons also, they've figured out how to get into the small entrance and through to the feed although its only once a week that I catch one in there, its becoming a pit of a pest. I know boredoms not the issue, they have a huge run and entertain themselves (its perhaps 5 meters square for each chook) and i give them cuttings to scavange through.

I have one chook separate at current and I've thuroughly examined all the chooks - she's the only one with the lice. They're small and yellowy i colour, come have a red dot in their abdomen and they're not very big put theres a lot of them. She's pulled out a lot of her tail feathers and around her head the feathers are turning grey, she always has food and is in a safe, warm enclosed area and gets and hour free range a day (When I'm walking the dog). What do I do to get rid of the pests? are there products I can buy? also a home remedy would be nice in case thanks
 

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