Good little hen losing all her feathers. Help please

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by trinityfly, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. trinityfly

    trinityfly Out Of The Brooder

    Hi, I have a 4 yr hen among my flock (silkies) that has been losing feathers all over her body for the past year. At first thought it was just molting but now I doubt that is the problem. I dusted her with pyrethrum dust thinking it might be mite allergy but no changes. I keep the nest material (wood shavings) meticulously clean but I am worried that she may have something that the other hens could catch. Anyone have any advice. I will try to post an image of the poor little thing tomorrow. [​IMG]
  2. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Are you thinking maybe that some of the others are "picking" on her?? Perhaps pulling them out every once in a while??

    I had gotten a leghorn in the spring that was bald and featherless in many areas of her body. Wing feathers, neck (front and back), her back, hind end area. I had no idea why she was like this, but she was getting worse. I got her a saddle with a wing protector and put it on her just to help keep the others from picking on her. And to give her a chance to start growing some new feathers in... I have since removed the wing protector, and she only has the saddle on, and honestly I could probably remove that as well. There was no reason for the drastic feather loss, but it has taken since the spring until now to get fully feathered out. Maybe a saddle and wing protector could help her.
  3. Renee

    Renee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    It sounds like the other chickens are picking at her. Can you protect her for a while to see if any feathers grow back?
  4. trinityfly

    trinityfly Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you so much for your suggestions. I have had chickens for nearly 10 years. Some of these birds are at least 5 years old and we have raised them from the egg. These past 6 months I have been home due to a work injury and am with the chickens every day, 4 or 5 times a day ranging from the time the Roo crows until after they are already in the sack. Often I check on them late in the evening to see how they have settled in. Never have I seen another chicken peck the poor balding little hen. She is on good terms with all the other gals and the roo still takes a shine to her. For me she has been a pleasure, laid her share of eggs and is a great forager in our free range, forested acreage. Why she is losing feathers is still a mystery. I am very fond of her but she sure is homely. My fear is she is allergic to the pine wood shavings we use as bedding. We are not at this time set up to separate her from the flock as I still have young pullets in our caged enclosure. But as soon as they are out and nesting my plan is to put that hen in there during the night and use rice hulls as bedding. If this is a hard molt then it is lasting for months.

    Has anyone had this kind of experience?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by