hens feathers breaking?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickenman101, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. chickenman101

    chickenman101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    North Carolina
    i have a 3 year old leghorn and the feathers on her back are falling out and are very thin. i looked a little closer today and an it looks like the their broke off at the ( stem of the feather) not sure what you call it, but it looks pretty rough and feels like its very hard where so many have broke. does anyone know what this could be? she doesnt seem to be sick, shes acting normal as ever.
  2. chickenman101

    chickenman101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    North Carolina
    could this be molting?
  3. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    I don't think the feathers break off when they're going through a molt. My guess would be mites. Check under her wings and around her vent for little, brown creepy-crawlies running around. If you don't see any, wait until night time, take a flash light with you, pick her up and check again (some mites are nocturnal and can only be seen at night).
    If you see them, treat with Sevin Dust (twice, 10 days apart), and use DE in and around your coop, dust bath areas, nesting boxes, and everywhere else your chooks hang out. You'll also have to clean out your coop and treat it against the mites (I had a pretty bad case last spring, but not again since then, because I whitewash the inside of my coop with a mix of DE and water, and use DE constantly).
  4. chickenman101

    chickenman101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    North Carolina
    i was afriad of that. i did have mite problems a while back but i did treat all with seven dust and white washed their coops from top to bottom and havent seen any since. ill check her again tomorrow. is their any kind of dip that you use besides dust?
  5. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Mites or lice. The bugs bother the chickens so badly that the chickens break off or pull their feathers out trying to get relief of the biting and itching. Treat immediately with poultry dust. It will kill both bugs. If you don't have that you can use Sevin.

    as granolamom stated treat again in 10 days and treat the entire coop. Also give poultry vitamins that you can mix right in to water and up their protein. The bugs can weaken them enough to get a secondary infection or disease and they can also kill the chickens if left untreated.
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you have a small number of chickens, there is a spray you can get at pet stores, designed for parrots. Very easy to apply. But as you have said, keeping the coop maintained is the ultimate answer. You might also provide a sand box for your birds with sevin and food-grade diatomaceous earth in the sand. Another substitute for Sevin is Dri-Kill which is a mix of sulfur and rotenone.
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    You can bathe them in dog flea/tick shampoo (or dip). I have seen a "recipe" for making a dip with ivermectin, but don't recall the dilution.
  8. Megans chics

    Megans chics New Egg

    May 15, 2012
    Has anyone ever used or heard of anyone using Advantage, the flea medication, to treat mites? I am a veterinary technician and our Bayer Rep said you could use it. I feel like I have heard it from someone else too. One of my girls looks terrible, her feathers are breaking off at the base and in random areas. None of the other girls are showing any other signs. I am afraid to use Sevin as I am trying to be pesticide free so we can get bees, is Sevin safe? Help, I have juveniles in another coop and babies on the way.
  9. AnthonyFlock

    AnthonyFlock Out Of The Brooder

    May 20, 2015
    I am having a similar problem with a pullet. She's breaking just the feathers on her back just shy of the tail. The only one of 12 with feather loss and I have not yet witnessed her pesting the area. Read previous Replies and immediately did a thorough search EVERYWHERE on her. There is not a single thing moving. No bugs on the feathers near the skin or on the skin anywhere. Could there be another cause?

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