Feathers "rotting" off

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lablover, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an EE hen that has been a bit lethargic lately. I have her separated now inside the coop, in a box with a heat lamp. Only thing she seemed interested in this evening was bread. Yesterday her crop was full though, and it did seem like she had eaten some sunflower seeds and food today as well. Last night I noticed a section of feathers on her lower back that looked strange under the red heat lamp. It was just the top part though, so I assumed it was from being pooped on. However, tonight more feathers seem to be affected, mostly on her left side. Here and there, some feathers appear to be rotting away from the tip. They just crumble and fall off. On her lower back area, a large clump of "rotted" feathers came off. I won't know more until tomorrow when I can see her better, but what could it be??? My chickens free range, and I haven't noticed this on any of the others. Could it be lice??? I treated the flock with Adam's this past summer, and that worked well.
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    There are several possibilities: Molt, external parasites, nutritional deficiencies.
     
  3. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So where do I start? I've never seen one molt like she's doing. She hatched chicks in August and seemed to be molting around that time or soon after. As she moves about, bits of feathers fall off. This first picture is what the feathers look like as they begin to fall off. Her lower back is much much worse. The second picture is what her tail looks like today. Yesterday it looked more normal, so I would say that whatever is causing this is happening quickly. However, she was much more active today, acting pretty much like a normal chicken would when confined and separated, and she was eating.
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  4. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Diets deficient in pantothenic acid, folic acid, lysine, methionine, Vitamins A, B, D, E can all cause irregular feather growth during moult and brittle feather shafts. This can be a problem when hens start to go off feed at the onset of moult. My suggestion would be to get a good quality moult supplement like Avio-gel and Avio-Moult powder. Jedd's or Foy's pigeon supply carries them.
    Mix 1 scoop of each to 75 ml of water, making a watery paste. Then mix it with 2 lbs of feed, so all the feed is coated. Let it dry for 15-30 minutes so it all adheres to feed before giving it to birds. Feed that 4 days a week and supplement water with Vitamins, Electrolytes "Plus" at .25 tsp per gallon of water at least 3 days a week. It may take about two weeks to see improvement.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    A rooster could be roughing her up, making it appear to be something else if that's the case. Otherwise, Michael Apple gave you excellent advice regarding nutritional needs.
     
  6. XxMingirlxX

    XxMingirlxX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would agree but keep us updated! :)
     

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