Golden Comet's feathers won't grow back

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by buffyschicks, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. buffyschicks

    buffyschicks New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 12, 2016
    Hi y'all!

    I'm new to the chicken lifestyle (these are the first I've owned!) and I've been trying to figure out what's going with my flock. I have nine hens and one rooster, all Golden Comets bought at my local Tractor Supply in early March. They did really well during the spring/summer but started looking a little bit rough and losing their feathers in the fall. Thinking it was molting, I increased their protein (Feather Fixer) rations and let them be. But it's now February and all of my hens still have naked butts! I've checked all of them and their coop for signs of mites or lice and have found nothing! I thought we might have a feather-picker, but ALL the girls are losing feathers around their butts, sides, tails, and necks. Even my rooster, Buffy, has a huge bald patch on his neck! I would appreciate any advice, since this is quite literally driving up the wall!

    Thank you so much!

    Kinsey
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,134
    7,900
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I would treat them for mites. Not all mites/lice are obvious, or show signs of their presence in their coop, or on the birds.
     
  3. buffyschicks

    buffyschicks New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 12, 2016
    Thank you for the advice, Sumi! What would you suggest I use? I have some Mannapro Poultry Protector spray *and* some Sevin dust.
     
  4. ryanhodapp

    ryanhodapp Chillin' With My Peeps

    681
    23
    141
    May 5, 2010
    St. Louis
    Nutrients also makes a feather formula that may help.
     
  5. ryanhodapp

    ryanhodapp Chillin' With My Peeps

    681
    23
    141
    May 5, 2010
    St. Louis
    that was suppose to be Nutrena
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,134
    7,900
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I'm not familiar with the spray, but I know sevin dust works as I've used a similar product for years. Give the chickens all a good dusting, then mix a generous amount of the dust with some water in a spray bottle and spray the coop, next boxes, roost bars, etc as well.

    For the feather regrowth, add a splash of apple cider vinegar (ACV) to their drink water for a week, in a plastic waterer, it corrodes metal. Follow by clean water for a week, then ACV water again. The AVC boosts nutrient uptake and overall wellbeing and it should help with the feather regrowth to some extend.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  7. buffyschicks

    buffyschicks New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 12, 2016
    Thank you for the advice, ryanhodapp! The Nutrena NatureWise Feather Fixer is the feed I'm currently using, mixed with some of their organic Natures Best pellets! [​IMG]
     
  8. buffyschicks

    buffyschicks New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 12, 2016
    I've found myself very hesitant to use something like Sevin Dust on my chickens because of the chemical additives (I've worked very hard to keep them as organic as possible!). Would something like diatomaceous earth work well at getting rid of mites, or it is useful as more of a preventative measure? I also used to put a cap of apple cider vinegar in their waterer during the summer to keep algae from growing but discontinued it when the weather got cooler. I'll definitely start adding it back in again!

    Once again, thank you for helping!
     
  9. huntingirl

    huntingirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    231
    15
    63
    Feb 11, 2016
    Diatomaceous earth works just as well if not better! You can use it to get rid of mites and lice and to prevent it.
     
  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    9,808
    3,018
    386
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Quote:
    I would have to agree with @sumi sevin or poultry dust is going to be the most effective in ridding of lice and mites.
    Once there is an infestation, DE, In My Opinion, is not going to be that effective.
    While DE may be advantageous for some to use it in dust bathing areas to help in prevention (which just plain 'ol dirt will do that), it will not eradicate an infestation.

    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/05/diatomaceous-earth-de-benefitrisk.html
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/08/poultry-lice-and-mites-identification.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by