Featherless chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lhousesoccer, May 8, 2011.

  1. lhousesoccer

    lhousesoccer Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2010
    About midway through this past winter, I noticed my chickens were bare around their butts and a couple of them in small areas on their breasts and necks. I thought they had been just pecking at each other (they squabble alot) because they were "cooped up" all winter. They don't like going outside in their 50' x 50' run in the snow. I thought that once they were out come spring, the feathers would come back in and they'd look nice again. Not so. They still look ugly. They are ratty and ugly looking and I don't like it.

    They do fight amongst themselves alot. I have 9 one year olds, and just got 5 more chicks. When I intergrate the chicks into the flock, I'm afraid they'll learn this pecking behavior too. I thinking about "axing" the 1 year olds towards the fall once the new onces are laying.

    But I just wanted to post some pics to see what everyone thinks. They otherwise seem to be fine. They lay eggs and have normal behavior. I don't think it's bugs, or mites. I've looked. Any ideas?

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  2. CCourson05

    CCourson05 Popping like kettle corn...

    Jan 5, 2011
    Hickory Flat, MS
    Could they be going through their one year molt?
     
  3. farmgirl77

    farmgirl77 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2009
    Their skin looks so inflamed. Make darn sure you don't have lice or mites, look around the vent carefully. I wish I had more advice.
     
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    That is some serious feather picking! I'd get some pinless peepers on those girls ASAP. Some of those birds are so bald I wouldn't expect to see feathers back on them until after a molt. I would also feed them some higher protein grower feed until you start getting some feather re-growth. Just remember to add some free choice oyster shells to keep their calcium levels where they should be.

    Good luck.
     
  5. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    OMG that does look awful! I don't have a clue what it could be, I've only had hens for a little over a year. Mine molted late last year and looked sort of scruffy, but nothing like this! They never had completely bare skin. I would take a day and just sit outside with them and see if they are picking feathers off of each other or themselves and eating them. This is usually a sign of not enough protein. What do you feed them? I would look them over again real good, maybe with a magnifying glass to make sure it isn't mites, but other than those 2 things, I have no idea what to do. I will be watching this thread to see if you find the answer.
     
  6. lhousesoccer

    lhousesoccer Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2010
    Quote:I feed them an Agway egg layer pellet, which is 16% protein. I also give them a couple big coffee cans of BOSS once a week. I think they're pecking each other on the roost at night. And yes, they are eating feather, because when they fly down and I see one comes loose, it's a mad scramble as they fight each other to get it.

    What are pinless peepers?
     
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    They are a little piece of chicken head gear that act as blinders preventing chickens from seeing straight ahead. It makes it more difficult to pick feathers with these attached. They can still pick, but not nearly as badly. I honestly would be doing some chicken observation time and weed out the worst culprits. Upping their protein may be very helpful, but feather picking starts out as a nutritional issue and then turns into a bad habit that is difficult to break. If you continue to see the behavior after about a month on grower feed then I would feel it is time to start some culling.

    Good luck.
     

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