Help! Broken & missing feathers on back, oily feathers on neck and white poo on butt feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Heather80..., Sep 10, 2017.

  1. Heather80...

    Heather80... In the Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2017
    My RIR has started losing back feather in March of this year. The chickens are just turning a year so I thought she was molting. But they every time the feathers grow her back is bloody sometimes, feathers missing and some on her wings broken. I have treated the coop for mites but no other birds are affected. This hen does not sleep on the roost with the rest of them and 80% of the time when the others are out in the yard she is sitting on the nest. I make her get off the nest and she will just go back into the coop. Lately I noticed some white poo on her but feathers but they have been eating from my apple trees. I have 5 hens total ( 2 RIR, 1 EE, 2 PBR) and 1 Amercuana Rooster. I got them as babies last April. Any advice would be great! Should I get rid of my rooster? Is there any treatments I can do? Her back is sometimes normal but other times really red (probably from mating).
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

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    Hi @Heather80... :frow Welcome To BYC

    Can you post some photos of her?

    From your description, the broken feathers sound like they are due to being mated by the rooster and you probably have some feather picking going on as well. How much coop and run space do you have (dimensions)?

    Sitting on the nest could be that she is hiding, trying to go broody or she may be sick - does she lay eggs? You may want to give her a wash up and inspect the vent for any picking/scabs abrasions. Watch to see that she is eating/drinking well and not being kept from the food/water. She may benefit from some extra vitamins and protein. Watch how the flock interacts with her - if she is not willing to roost, then she is being picked on or she is ill. Separate her into a kennel inside the run with her own food/water and see if her behavior improves over the course of a few days.
    Keep us posted.
     
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    My guess would be that she is being over mated by the cockerel and as a result, hiding in the coop from him. Young roosters can be hard on pullets as they have a strong urge to mate but not good technique, so it can be quite rough and as well as damaging feathers they also sometimes break the skin, especially if the pullets are not cooperating. I would recommend you get a chicken saddle/apron for her and remove the cockerel, at least for a few weeks to give her a chance to heal. Also check her over thoroughly as they sometimes get nasty gashes under their wings from the cockerels claws, which are hidden from sight by their feathers but can attract flies or allow infection in.
    If you don't need a rooster, get rid of him. Your girls will be happier in the long run but some time out in a bachelor pad, would at least give her a chance to recover.
     
  4. Heather80...

    Heather80... In the Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2017
    I don't need the rooster. His prettiness keeps me from giving him the axe. He does mate her extra. I bought some dried worms today and some hen ointment. I need to get a kennel. She is still laying. I will post pic of my coop.
     
    micstrachan likes this.
  5. Heather80...

    Heather80... In the Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2017
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    I'm not able to see if you have any but providing some external roost bars may allow her to get up out of his way, without going into the coop. Birds often like to roost on a morning once they have had a good feed, so roost bars in the run might be appreciated regardless of whether the cockerel says or goes. It is a lovely set up.... can't believe you still have grass in your run!
     
    micstrachan and Wyorp Rock like this.
  7. Heather80...

    Heather80... In the Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2017
    UPDATE! All my girls grew their feathers back in the fall. I guess it was just a phase.
     
  8. Bettyboop7499

    Bettyboop7499 Songster

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    Thank you so much for giving an update!
     

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