HELP! Losing feathers! What's goin' on?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SCchickens2011, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. SCchickens2011

    SCchickens2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my chickens are losing feathers. It started with two of the GSL's they were starting to look like their back feathers were getting shredded, they were down to just the shaft after a few weeks and now both are almost completely bald in those spots, and on their necks in the front now.

    Then I noticed a few RIR's having the same issue with shredded feathers on their backs but they aren't bald there yet, but on their necks in front like the others is bald.

    My BR's have missing fluff on their bottoms too.

    And now my newbies, Amerucana's, two of the four are showing signs of the back shredding.

    I keep a VERY clean coop, I do a complete strip down, wash nest boxes and re shave the whole thing once a month, I do poop scoops in between. I keep the yard raked, and their water fresh. They eat 20% crumbles and I also offer scratch grains and mealworms (the dried kind in the container at the feed store, "Happy Hen" treats) and just recently sunflower seeds each day as well, I give them yogurt on occasion also that has crushed egg shells mixed in it.

    I am fairly certain it is a VERY dominant RIR I have dubbed Big Momma, but why so many of my girls are being treated this way I don't know?

    OR maybe it is a S _ _ t flows downhill kinda problem??? Big Momma picks on one, then that one picks on some one else and on down the line????

    Any other suggestions? AND how do I get their feathers to grow back before the snow flies? Will they get too cold?
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    This time of year is molting season, so if they are losing feathers all over, that is most likely the reason. Alternately, a rooster who is riding the hens too hard can cause them to lose feathers on their back.
     
  3. SCchickens2011

    SCchickens2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have a rooster, but I was reading a post from earlier today "Pecked to Pieces" and there was some interesting information on there. I do not think they aren't getting enough protein, BUT I do think they are bored, and not enough room, that makes sense.

    To be honest I have thought I should build a second yard off the back side of my coop the same size or bigger as the one I currently have, but just haven't done it yet.

    I have 18 chickens in this...
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    I have added a second feeder and a second waterer also. But I NEED to definitely build a bigger yard. will have to wait until spring tho, any suggestions until then???
     
  4. SCchickens2011

    SCchickens2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh and I have four additional roosts and a "ladder" in the chicken yard, these were taken last year when I only had nine chickens :)
     
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    My guess would be that they are molting. Could you post some pictures of the birds with the feather damage? This is the time of year when many birds molt.
     
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  7. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    It's molting season and they are probably molting. Just remember to give them protein and you should be fine.[​IMG]
    Things with protein:

    hard boiled egg
    sunflower seeds
    yogurt (plain)

    And that's all I can think of right now.[​IMG]
     
  8. SCchickens2011

    SCchickens2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]Ethel

    [​IMG]Hilda

    [​IMG]Hilda

    [​IMG]Either Bonnie or Gerrude (All 3 RIR's have this on their necks)

    [​IMG]Hilda again (she and Ethel have had the issue since summer)
    [​IMG]Paris (Amerucana) this is in the last two weeks

    [​IMG]Paris again, none of my 5 WLH's have the issue

    [​IMG]Cinnamon (Amerucana) she and the other blonde Amerucana Monroe do not have any issues, but there is a chocolate Amerucana, CoCo, who has similar to Paris.

    I have 3 RIR's all with neck and 2 of them have minor shredded back feathers near the tail like Paris. I have 3 GSL's Hilda and Ethel have the absolute worst issues that started this late spring but Ethel still has some feathers on her back, Hilda is bare. I have 3 BR's that only have butt fluff missing. My 4 new Amerucana's were fine until about two weeks ago or so and the grey and chocolate ones are the only two affected with minor back feather shredding, the other two are perfectly fine. And my 5 WLH's have no issues except about a month ago two of them have tail feathers ripped out and were bloodied, but now they are fine.
     
  9. SCchickens2011

    SCchickens2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay serious help needed! I have one of my chickens separated from the flock, she is outside in my "juvenile" pen which has a small run and coop. I am worried about her, this is Hilda, the one who has seemingly been the brunt of most bullying. Almost all my birds are bullying each other, but the white leghorns, two amerucanas, and one GSL are untouched it seems.

    This one, Hilda, was in a nest box most of the day yesterday (hiding) and this morning when I went out she was in the yard being attacked by one of the amerucanas that isn't being bullied (i.e. the bullier)

    I have thick straw in the coop which is basically a pallet box that is elevated from the ground, sided, has interior wall covering and a roof. So about 3' x 3' x3' and it has a small pop door.

    I put her food inside and will have to maintain two dog water bowls I put in the little run because they will be frozen by morning, I only have the one heated water bowl for the big coop.

    I think she will be okay, but she was weak today, and I am mainly just concerned if she will be warm enough out there, it has been getting to like -7 degrees here or more and I just wonder if she will figure to nestle down in the straw to keep warm???? should I try to bring her inside?
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  10. mg15

    mg15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please bring her in. she is already weak and cold temperatures will make her more weak.
     

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