Help! Hens Look Horrible

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by tshens, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. tshens

    tshens New Egg

    Jan 30, 2016
    I have been dealing with feather loss in most of my hens for a couple months now. My husband and I discovered lice a few weeks ago and have treated the coop and the flock.

    My hens do not seem to be regenerating their feathers on backs, despite adding feather conditioner and rooster booster to their feed. Some of them actually look worse.

    I have tried researching if there could be other parasites that are causing this issue but cannot find much more information then lice/mites, or over breeding from rooster being the culprits. We only have 1 Roo for 22 hens, so he is pretty busy.

    Am I missing something here? Or am I just being impatient. My hens look horrible!

    Thanks in Advance!
  2. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are you sure they aren't molting?
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    It would help if you could post photos of how they are looking. I would think molt also but, it would be more widespread than just their backs. Does the rooster have any missing feathers. If the cause was parasites he should have the same bare back - unless he is causing it. Maybe you could separate him for a couple weeks to see if the hens start to regrow new feathers.
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, tshens, and [​IMG]! Pleased you joined our community! Looks you already received some great advice so I will just say best of luck to you and your hens! [​IMG]
  5. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    Thanks for joining us!
  6. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under tshens [​IMG] Welcome!

    As suggested, some pics may help in determining the issue. I hope you are able to get to the bottom of it.

    I also hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun.
  7. tshens

    tshens New Egg

    Jan 30, 2016
    Thank you for your reply. I have thought about it being molt too, but they are only missing feathers on their backs, and not anywhere else. Wouldn't they molt off feathers everywhere? I have never had hens who have molted before, so I am not quite sure what it looks like in person, but from what I have read they pretty much lose all feathers. In addition, dont they stop laying eggs during molt? My girls are laying just fine. Which is another reason for my confusion. If they were ill I would assume egg production would drop dramatically, no? This has been going on for weeks. Most of them have bare backs, except for a handful of hens, and my rooster looks just fine.

    We have treated everyone for the lice and also treated coop 2X for the lice. I put out wood ash and DE for dust bath. Their poo looks fine, no worms or anything. I'm just not sure what else to do to try to help them back to normal.

    I will try to get some pictures up.

    Thank you!
  8. tshens

    tshens New Egg

    Jan 30, 2016
  9. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't have any pictures of my hens molting so I looked one up. Hens sometimes continue to lay while molting, though it's not very common. Have you looked to see if it can see visible lice or mites? Even though you've treated for them. [​IMG]
  10. tshens

    tshens New Egg

    Jan 30, 2016
    We checked a few days back and there weren't any lice, but they still had the nits on them stuck in their feathers, so we treated again and will be checking again.

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