Feathers can record health problems

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by centrarchid, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I had a cohort of chicks that suffered an outbreak of cocci a few weeks ago. Some died. Some became very sick but eventually recovered. Those that became sickest yet survived have a record of the stress in their feathers. Below is one of the more strongly affected survivors, a red jungle fowl x American game cockerol (or stag if you prefer). I prefer male juvenile. He is in his second feather set and has the third (first adult) starting to come in.
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    The following is a closeup showing check marks on flight feathers of his tail. Notice the discoloration and narrowness of feathers roughly half way down their length. Those areas were grown in while bird was sick. The feathers are brittle in those locations.

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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  2. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting....he's a pretty well feathered guy now for having been so sick.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:He is a cross between red jungle fowl and American game. The species and breed both have more functional (and larger) feathers than most domestic poultry breed. This requires rapid feather also. Like all chickens to my knowledge, he goes through three sets of feathers during his first 8 months so easy for feathering to recover from effects of illness during first six months.
     

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