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Feathers Breaking Off?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LoveOrpingtons, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. LoveOrpingtons

    LoveOrpingtons In the Brooder

    Nov 25, 2012
    So, I posted a problem with our 8 month old Buff Orpington who has stopped laying and is looking quite "scraggly". She was previously our most glamorous looking gal! Now, the feathers around her neck seem to be breaking off right where the feather shaft gets thick about an inch out from her skin. So, here are her latest symptoms/behaviors:

    1. Stopped laying about 3 weeks ago
    2. Previously beautiful, floppy comb has shrunk a bit and is now pink
    3. Losing feathers around neck... however see above to note they aren't necessarily coming out
    4. Inspected "root" of feathers and see no sign of parasites
    5. She is eating fine and behaves as her normal, bossy self
    6. I have been feeding electrolytes in water about the past 10 days
    7. Dusted all the girls about a week ago

    Any thoughts? My last post had several people tellling me she is molting, but a site moderator felt she is too young to be molting.

    Sandy, Utah

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have some Buff Orps that will turn one year at the end of Jan.- two or three of them are molting - not the whole body molting that you see but some feathers here and there. It is that time of year, and they do have mini-molts before the 18 month old molt. And believe you me, I treat for mites regularly to ensure mite-free status, having had problems with that in the past.

    I would guess it is molting. Combs can shrivel during molting. Just to be safe I'd repeat the poultry dust at the 7 day mark to catch any hatching mite eggs, in case it IS mites.

    Offer additional protein, like scrambled eggs, non-medicated chick starter (with oyster shell on the side), etc. if you think they need a boost.
  3. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Songster

    Apr 11, 2011
    SE Michigan
    X2 on giving more protein. I mix grower feed in with my layer feed when my girls are molting. Some hens also just have more brittle feathers like my red sex-links, but they get that extra protein and it really helps.
  4. LoveOrpingtons

    LoveOrpingtons In the Brooder

    Nov 25, 2012
    Thank you both. I will give her some added protein and change up her feed to help her.

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