Hen lost bottom feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Geolguy, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. Geolguy

    Geolguy New Egg

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    Dec 30, 2010
    Our bard rock hen lost all the feathers around her vent area... and area about 3 by 3 inches, totally bare. We have tried dusting her with powder from the local grange but the feathers do not want to grow back... it has been about a month now that she dtill has a bare bottom. Any idea on what caused this and how to get her to grow her feathers back? She seems normal acting and does not seem to bother her. We have 4 other hens and they do not bother her and are not picking at her. She is actually the dominant hen of the 5.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Almost has to be feather picking or mites/lice. How many hens in how much space? Where are you? Do they stay inside a lot due to snow? What is their diet?
     
  3. Geolguy

    Geolguy New Egg

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    Dec 30, 2010
    The five hens are in a 4 foot by 5 foot coop. We keep a 250 W heat light on at night. They are about 9 months old. The coop is lines with pine shavings which I change out about once every 3 weeks. During the day they are outside in a wire enclosed 10 by 4 foot run.

    I the coop, they have a wood bar roost about 1 foot off the floor. And elevated egg laying nests that actually take up quite a bit of room.

    About 3 months ago this same hen had poopy all over her rear feathers area. We fed her yogurt regularly and that cleaned that up.

    Diet... normal is the Payback pellets, dry corn (grit). Then we feed them rice, yogurt and bread each day as a treat.

    We live in the Seattle area so it is typically mild. WIth the heat light on in the coop at night is stays about 40 to 45 degrees. No snow here usually. THe run is covered so they stay dry. We do let them out once every other day to roam for an hour or two... just two many racoons and redtail hawks to leave them out all the time.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    [​IMG]...I'd say you have a feather picker, since you are using a light at night the chickens are not in a normal sleep pattern, which can cause feather picking, I don't know what breed of chickens you have but unless their a breed that can't take the cold you really don't need heat. We just went through single digits and I don't have the heat lamp on. I have one but Haven't used it, and mine are fine. You might try feeding some extra protien, yogurt, scrambled eggs, lean meat, cheese and mealworms, to see if that will help, but I am leaning on the light as the source of your problem. If you have checked her and have not found mites or lice that is..............if you still feel you need heat for them try a red light instead of white.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  5. Geolguy

    Geolguy New Egg

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    Dec 30, 2010
    We are using a red light.. however, I think we will turn it out at night as it does seem that the feather loss occurred about the same time we turned the light on at night.

    Say we solve the problem. When should we start seeing feathers regrowing? Right now she has a couple of long spindly things coming out of the bare area... other than that totally "plucked" on her bottomside.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    hopefully that will help but I have also heard that once a feather picker always one , saying that if you can find out who it is you might have to isolate her for a couple days just to try and break the cycle. Hopefully just giving them darkness will fix if, I've also seen where others have had to cull the culprit it was so bad. Hopefully you'll not have to go to drastic measures. Good Luck, and let us know who it goes. Yes her feathers will come back, just be thankful her skin id intact. Some go beyond the feathers to eating away at the skin too.
     

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