HELP! wiry feathers and very lethargic

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sassafras12345, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. sassafras12345

    sassafras12345 New Egg

    Feb 13, 2017
    I have a 3 and a half year old Silver Laced Wyandotte that for the past 6 months or so has had feathers that are very wiry and sparse. She was acting fine so we just gave her a protein rich diet and hoped it would work. When her feathers weren't growing back well we chalked it up to it being around molting season and we hoped that she would molt and grow back her beautiful feathers. Sadly that was not the case and up until now she has seemed very alert and healthy so we assumed that nothing was wrong with her and she was just having a bad molting/ bad feathers because of a bad molting. We have also checked for mites fleas or lice and have seen none on her or our other chickens. Also her feet have gained a blackish tint to them in the past month or so. Just today I went into the coop in the morning and she was on the nesting box shelf ( which was weird because she hasn't laid any eggs since the beginning of this) and was just sitting there. She seemed fine and so I left her there and when I went to close the coop up she was in the exact spot just sitting there. I have since then separated her and brought her into the house and put her into a container and given her food and water. She still is eating and when I felt her crop it seemed like a normal chickens would after eating so I have no idea what could possibly be wrong with her. Any suggestions are appreciated and I hope someone can help me figure this out. Below are some pictures of her and her feathers and feet.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    bumping this up. I hope someone can help identify the issue and help you treat it.
  3. Yemimah

    Yemimah Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 12, 2017
    So I do not know if I can help but let's just try.... if this was a person i would start by being simple about it.... Is this a vitamin defeciency, or could it be an internal parasite? When was the last time you dewormed your flock? Have you dusted or dipped them 1-2 times a year for mite and lice control? What is the condition of the coop, the yard,.... do you clean their feeders and waterers. What do you feed them? Table scraps should only comprise a small % of their diet. Have you tried giving them oyster shells? What do they need to grow nice feathers ? Is it protein or have you tried nutri drench for chickens? You could try talking with the folks at a hatchery . I like Meyer currently. They are my fav.. Why don't you put them out on a new piece of ground with their yard. Chickens can be a lot like people too. Fresh and new is nice for them. Do you have any more details?
  4. Yemimah

    Yemimah Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 12, 2017
    I hope you are getting the help you need . Does anyone else have any thoughts? I am still thinking about it. I am thinking that the chicken must have a good strong system that is nourished . So the breakdown there is that there is a missing link. If you are giving him good nutrition which from what you share it sounds like you are he should be healthy. Do they eat bought layer mash or do you mix your own ? Is there anything poisonous near them? Like any spraying of fertilizers or herbicides or fumes from vehicles / diesel. Could he have eaten something free ranging that would be poisonous ? Again.. try nutri-drench for chickens. Meyer Hatchery is my fav and they stock it and ship also. They may also have great advice for you. Whenever you have problems of any kind consider doing all you can like how you would treat a sick person... Good food ,electrolytes, clean their house up, give a clean new bed. Boost the immune system by xing out any factors that deplete... deworm,check for food spoilage and discard it if it is moldy.Clean, clean , clean cleeeeean.[​IMG]
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    HI[​IMG] Welcome To BYC

    What type of food/treats do you feed?
    Do you offer oyster shell free choice?
    Did she go through a full molt? When?
    Is there any history of respiratory illness in your flock?

    You mention that you gave her a protien rich diet - can you tell us about that - how long did you give her extra protein and what is she eating now?

    There's no way to know for sure what the cause is. If these are feathers that have grown in from a recent molt, then it may be from vitamin/nutritional deficiency. Giving her some extra protein like egg, tuna, mackerel or meat may help if she is not done with molting - she looks a bit sparse like she isn't finish. Offer some poultry vitamins as well.

    To me, the legs look normal. I will look at my SLW in the morning that is finishing her molt, I believe her legs darkened a bit since she is not laying. By the end of laying season I think her legs had become lighter. I believe what you are seeing is just pigmentation/natural coloring of the legs.

    I wish I had better answers.
  6. mg15

    mg15 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2012
    I have Wyandottes and can really see that her feathers are not normal pretty bad actually.
    I wonder if she an underlying disease ? Or Not. She seems to be able to fight.
    Give her hamburger, liver, good protein. Nutritional yeast on her food. Lots of calcium for feather growth
    even a feed called Feather Fixer (purina) ?

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