Feathers broken/missing

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by beeksnfeet, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. beeksnfeet

    beeksnfeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2012
    IL/WI border
    When I went to give my girls their morning oatmeal treat the other day, I noticed the smallest of the buffs (all are nearly 10 months old) had a spot about the size of a quarter missing from near her tail feathers, but off to the side. I thought nothing of it just because I figured some fell out as they do from time to time. Then this morning, the bare spot was bigger and it looks as if the shaft to some of the feathers were broken. She is fine, eating well, clucking and laying pretty regular too. The 2 other Buffs are fine, and the 2 White Plymouth Rocks are good too. They are the more aggressive ones tho. One in particular, Nuggett, is a nasty little thing every so often. She has pecked me hard on occasion and throws her weight around and has since she was little, hence the pecking order. There is no wound, and I'm not quite sure what to do. Winter has hit us hard in NE Illinois, much colder then usual, but they are enclosed, have a heated water dish and lots of pine shavings to keep them warm. They have been laying pretty regularly; I get either 2 or 3 eggs almost everyday. Not sure who is laying what. They have access to an outside run which is almost completely covered with plastic for the weather. The door to the run is not covered so they can see the outside area. Their coop has vents open all day for fresh air. Leaves from fall and some pine also in the run for them. They are given layer feed and grit all day and also fermented corn in the evening before they go in for the night for warmth. Don't know what to do. Any ideas? :(
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    First, check for mites and lice.

    Do you have a rooster? Some hens just have brittle feathers that break really easily. It’s not that unusual for a feather to come out during a mating anyway but a hen with brittle feathers can easily become barebacked.

    I’ve got to go so this is a real quick answer. Good luck!
     
  3. beeksnfeet

    beeksnfeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2012
    IL/WI border
    Thanks for the reply. I never thought of mites or lice, I guess because everything is frozen out here and the coop is cleaned regularly. None of the others have feather issues and this came us so suddenly. I will check in the morning. I have DE so I will use that if necessary. No rooster. If it is one of the others pecking at her, how do I figure which one it is? None of them seem to bother her when I'm around, so this is really driving me nuts. Thanks again.
     

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