Help! Molting or Illness?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by aitchbe, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. aitchbe

    aitchbe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 4, 2008
    One of my four Rhode Island Reds is losing feathers ALOT. Last night I touched her and they came out in handfuls. They are missing from her neck, back, belly and rear. I didn't notice so this came on suddenly. They live outdoors in Michigan and I've been keeping them in the coop all day. I thought the feathers I had seen were from them picking at each other, being restless, but see now it's the one hen.

    I read some posts about molting, giving extra protein, Poly-vi-sol and yogurt. I'll try those things tonight. Since my girls usually run around the yard, i've never noticed molting before.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I also read up about mites/lice. I haven't used a magnifying glass but don't see evidence of gunk on the feathers.

    Her belly is absent of feathers and has a red irritated patch. I had previously had two of the girls without feathers on their heads and had used Blu-Kote to cover the red. Should I do that over a larger area?

    I've brought her inside to isolate in case she is sick and in case she's getting picked on, so she will be warmer now.

    Any advice? I'm very concerned!
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Sometimes a chicken will seem to explode a ton of feathers all at once. It's probably molting. Giving extra protein during this time will help them grow feathers back faster. I give mine 22% protein layer feed with animal protein (vegetarian feeds aren't great during the molt) when they are molting. Plus, they get scrambled eggs fed to them.
     
  3. DouglasPeeps

    DouglasPeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2008
    Colorado
    Do you have a rooster?
     
  4. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Southern Iowa
    looks like a combo of molting and possible rooster damage to me.
     
  5. aitchbe

    aitchbe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 4, 2008
    No rooster and it's not some other critter (besides the other hens) because they've been cooped up in their house most of the time. I have paving stones under the coop, so mice etc can't burrow in.
     
  6. aitchbe

    aitchbe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 4, 2008
    And the sore on her belly - should I treat that?
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    When the feathers are gone, the skin often looks red,usually from the skn rubbing on the roost. Unless there's a real sore, you probably dont need to treat it.
     
  8. aitchbe

    aitchbe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 4, 2008
    Thanks much!! I'll try the suggestions and post again if I still have a bald hen [​IMG]
     
  9. Barnett_Farms

    Barnett_Farms Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 31, 2008
    South Central Michigan
    That is too funny because I live in Michigan also and my ISA girls are losing their feathers!!!! Not by the handful but they are. Are you having any luck with laying right now? My girls haven't laid a single egg in over a week!!! [​IMG]
     
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If clumps of feathers are coming out in your hand, I'd have to agree with moulting. My sexlink went POOF over night and turned into this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For a few days when they first fell out, she was literally bald in spots... she doesn't have nearly as many feathers as the pics seem to show either... one feather conceals a good amount of body!

    She was this:

    [​IMG]

    Oh... and she started this when? When temps dropped into the teens at night!!! [​IMG]


    If she's not being picked on, you don't need to blue kote. Do blue kote though IF you see pin feathers being removed (blood).
     

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