Feather picking? Stress/ molting? Help please

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BusyBearMama, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. BusyBearMama

    BusyBearMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] this is Nettie, she is 5 weeks old, she's been messing with her feathers. Is she too young to have a nice dust bath in some diotomaciois earth (food grade of course) or could she be too hot? The only one? She is bigger, maybe she's slightly older? and it got cold here and they were inside then in a barn (both under a lamp at about 75f) then came here (inside again over the course of a week though and inside there's also a heater but I monitor the temp and its been between 65-80f) they can get away from the lamps hear but not the heat in the room... She's pulling the feathers from where you see in the pic and behind her wings... Could she just be stressed? Its been a crazy week for her? She's acting like a normal chick, eating, drinking, doing her bird business, I've never seen a chick do this, she's not exceptionally timid and she's not being bullied though I did see one of the other large chicks try and perch on her. There are 6 together in a 3 foot across octagonal brooder. Could she be itchy? She was in a barn for a couple nights, could she have something on her? She just started last night and I don't think its good for her. Please help ;) any advice is appreciated, I'm Hoping to stop it before it gets any worse or the others start. Thanks!!!
     
  2. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry, I have no answers for what might be causing it. But I can tell you that it is absolutely not too early to give your babies a dust bath area. They will love you for it. I usually put one in the brooder for mine within the first week. I would not use just diatomaceous earth though. Just put a little DE or wood ash in with dirt, peat or sand. Your chicks will have a ball and it will be good for them.

    Hopefully someone else can chime in about the cause for the feather loss. Have you seen any evidence of mites or other boogers on her anywhere?
     
  3. BusyBearMama

    BusyBearMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will set up their bath tomorrow then ;) I've got to go get some sand anyway... I haven't seen anything right on them but its not impossible. Its definitly the first place my mind went to. I put them on pine shavings too which might bother a sensutive bird? Maybe? Thanks so much for responding :)
     
  4. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never had one sensitive to pine yet, but it is entirely possible she could be. I would take her out and do a thorough examination of her. Look for any sign of mites/lice/fleas or their eggs or maybe sores. Although, if it were bad enough to cause feather loss in one, I'd think you'd be seeing it in the others as well. If she seems clean, then maybe when you put in a dust bath, you could take the opportunity to switch the bedding to something other than pine if you have anything else.
     
  5. BusyBearMama

    BusyBearMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I switched the bedding out for newspaper last night and watched her for a while. They seemed ok, one of the others was a bit itchy but not excessively. Lots of running around... They could be bored I guess... Maybe I should set some stuff up for them to do? They're pretty small... Any ideas?
     
  6. Wxguru

    Wxguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, give them something to do. I have 2 week old chicks, and I have added a perch, added a mirror, and given them a dust bath box. Just witnessed the first dust bath last night!
     
  7. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, they could be bored. It never hurts to give them things to do to enrich their lives. The mirror and perches are great ideas. You can also dig up a chunk of sod from outside (just make sure it hasn't been chemically treated in any way first) and put it in their enclosure. Mine LOVE when I do that. Keeps them occupied for hours. Another good boredom buster is to give them a special treat, like hard boiled or scrambled egg chopped up, or cooked spaghetti chopped into short pieces. I especially love watching them with the spaghetti. One will get a piece and go running madly around with the noodle flapping out of its beak while the others chase and try to take it. [​IMG] It will entertain them for a while and probably wear them out pretty good too. Just be careful not to overdo the treats so that they don't eat their chick feed.
     
  8. BusyBearMama

    BusyBearMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :-D love it, they're getting a couple perches, a mirror, dirt! And hmm treats... They seem so small... I'm going to have to figure out what they like... She's started chewing a few feathers so I think whatever's going on is really bugging her, they made a mess of the paper I put in there.,, [​IMG] but she still seems ok
     
  9. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Poor baby. [​IMG] I hope that the change in the bedding and/or the dust bath will get her some relief.
     
  10. BusyBearMama

    BusyBearMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Me too, thanks :) .. Poor dear :-( the little ones been acting a bit sleepy today... Hoping its just that the other birds aren't allowing bedtime...
    Its peculiar indeed... I got her a little mirror when I went to get the sand... Randomly they had magnetic ones there...
     

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