In the Brooder
- Aug 9, 2011
Relatively new chicken owner here, with a small flock of 3 hens (White Leghorn, Rhode Island Red and Easter Egger) which are all 2 years old. The problem we are having with the Leghorn is so lengthy I hardly know where to begin, but here goes. Until this time, our chickens were relatively easy to care for, had no pecking order to speak of, eat Layena crumbles, are given vitamins in their water, grit, oyster shells and only occasional treats. Around 2 months ago, we noticed the Leghorn's vent area completely bare of feathers, and her egg production was really slow (until this time, she was a daily layer). Without thinking too much about that, a couple of weeks passed, still no eggs from her, still bare rumped and then about a month ago, we noticed the 2 other hens picking on her, constantly keeping her away from food, the door to the chicken yard, etc. She was losing weight, too. We separated them by making a temporary coop/run for the 2 bullies, and left the Leghorn alone in the permanent coop and run to hopefully de-stress her, bring her back to health and assess what needed to be done. We wormed all 3 hens with Wazine, then 2 weeks later, Zimectrin Gold. We sprinkled the coop and the birds with dusting powder in case there were any mites/lice (we live in Michigan and I am wondering if mites and lice even exist during the cold months in the north?) and we also started using DE throughout the coop, and in the feed. We increased the protein intake by giving them plain yogurt, hard boiled eggs and shells, and a protein treat from TSC. The Rhode Island Red and Easter Egger look wonderful, but the Leghorn is still thin, uninterested in pecking around in the chicken pen, still bare in the vent area and now we notice an extreme amount of feathers in the coop and in the run where only she has access to. She has never lost feathers like this! She is interested in the food we give her on the side for extra protein and an occasional treat, so I know she is eating, but she still seems thin. We have looked her over for sores on her legs , mites, lice, and we cannot see anything out of the ordinary, but still she just isn't herself. Thin, unsocial, uninterested in pecking around, extreme feather loss, and no egg laying. We would like to re-introduce the other 2 hens back into the coop and get rid of their make-shift living area, but I am afraid they will go back to picking on her. At this point I just do not know what to look for. We have wormed her, added protein, treated for lice or mites, give her vitamins in her water, and removed the bullies who were stressing her out. Are there ANY suggestions as to what we can do at this point? HELP!