Help! What's going on with Gladys Knight?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dpears28, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. dpears28

    dpears28 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2013
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    Hi, I'm looking for any help on figuring out what is happening to Gladys. She is eating, drinking and acting normal but is loosing feathers all over her body. She is also skinny compared to some of the other chickens. Gladys is one of my top hens as she is the oldest in the coop. Her and her BFF Oprah are my top and Oprah seems to be doing okay compared to Gladys.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Thre may be some feather-picking going on if she isn't molting. Molting as you probably know, occurs yearly in most chickens, and you should see feathers in the coop, unless somebody is picking her feathers. Boredom, especially in winter when weather prevents them from going outside, over crowded conditions, and too little protein in the diet can cause picking. You might increase the protein for awhile to 20% (flock raiser is good), adding some dry cat food or sunflower seed as treats, and put some things in the coop to entertain them like hanging a cabbage or letting them out more.
     
  3. dpears28

    dpears28 Out Of The Brooder

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    Is it normal for them to molt well into the winter like this? She did start a molt in early fall but it appears to have gotten more severe. I will try your suggestions on the protein increase and getting a head of cabbage for them to peck at.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Chickens molt when they are about 18 months old, then every 12 months thereafter. It doesn't matter what time of year it is if they are due. If they were hatched in late summer or fall (in North America) they will molt in late winter/early spring. If she molted in the fall, she isn't molting now unless she has suffered great stress, such as being without water for a period. Bag Balm is good for feather picking because it taste bad. BluKote spray will hide reddened areas and helps with picking also.
     
  5. dpears28

    dpears28 Out Of The Brooder

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    The only stress I can think of is potentially the weather. We opt not to use a heat lamp due to the size of pur flock. I will try bah balm. Do you think I should try maybe taking her inside to heal up a bit?
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I would normally say yes, but they will forget about her, and probably attack her when she comes back to the flock. If you don't have room in the coop for a cage you may have to bring her inside. If you can spend some time with them you could bring her outside with the flock for about an hour every day before dusk--that way she can stay part of the flock, and you can look out to see who is bullying her.
     

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