Hen has pale comb, poor feathers. Not sure what is wrong?

HudokFarm

Songster
8 Years
May 6, 2011
166
4
116
Minnesota
I have been baffled by one of my hens for quite a while now. With winter approaching, I am more concerned for her now. She has had a pale comb and wattles since February or March of this year. Her comb is very pale, almost orangish, and a little droopy. Her feather quality has been declining for quite a while and so I figured she was molting. Now, however, she looks like a drowned rat. She has no under-feathers, the feathers she has are brittle and fall off for no reason I can see. When I can catch her she feels light and in need of some weight. The oddest thing, though, is that she is 100% perky. She eats, roosts, runs around scratching and dust bathing with her flock-mates all day. She does head back to the coop a little earlier in the afternoon than the other hens.

Here are her demographics: She is a 3 1/2 year old production red. Free range. Lives with 4 other hens, all of whom are healthy.

What I have checked: no mites, stool is normal, does not lay, abdomen feels normal but she seems thin overall

Any advice? I am especially worried about what to do with her over winter. I may need a chicken sweater. Here is a photo of her back in June or so. Her comb is paler and you can see the beginnings of her feather problem. She is the red one in the middle...this was in the middle of a hardcore sunbathing session for all the ladies.

 

soler

Songster
7 Years
May 1, 2012
431
11
101
Long Island, NY
have you wormed them? Could be that if you haven't done it in 6-12 months. Use a broad spectrum like safeguard, valbazen, eprinex (i use this since it also kills ticks, mites, lice etc, you applied topically).
 

HudokFarm

Songster
8 Years
May 6, 2011
166
4
116
Minnesota
I will try worming and can pick up a wormer today. Is it odd to have just one chicken need to be wormed? Should I go ahead and do all 5 flockmates? It is only this one that looks bad.
 

soler

Songster
7 Years
May 1, 2012
431
11
101
Long Island, NY
if you have never wormed, i would worm them all. It might be one has a bigger infestation than another. It's a good thing to do anyways. Don't buy wazine, since it only works on roundworms. Also, you will need to repeat the dose after 10 days.
 

HudokFarm

Songster
8 Years
May 6, 2011
166
4
116
Minnesota
Well, she got wormed yesterday. I got the pour on Eprinex and we got her dosed pretty easily. I've got my fingers crossed here!
fl.gif
 

HudokFarm

Songster
8 Years
May 6, 2011
166
4
116
Minnesota
She passed away peacefully on Friday while sunning herself in our arena. The worming helped her feathers a lot, but she did not improve as much as a few others we treated. She continued to be pale, but still ate. She spent her last day scratching around in the yard and then she was gone. She is buried in her favorite place to scratch for worms, behind my horse barn. RIP Addie.
 

missnu01

Songster
7 Years
Nov 16, 2012
2,749
144
226
I have a buff orpington a little over a year old that lays an egg every single day for months and months, that has lost alnost all her color...her comb is slightly pale and drooped over like a leghorn.. she eats, and is still laying but instead of orange, she is almost cream colored.. we have a few younger buffs and the difference in feather color is serious...
 

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