Is my chicken sick or molting or being picked on? pictures included!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ehinrj01, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. ehinrj01

    ehinrj01 Hatching

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    Nov 12, 2010
    I am a new chicken owner. I have three buff orpington hens that are about 9 months old. They have this coop---> http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Chicken-Coops/The-Saltbox-Coop-with-Run-Ships-Free-p697.aspx I use pine shavings. I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana so it is bitter cold right now. During the summer they are usually free to roam the back yard most of the day. However, with the snow and cold they are only getting out for 1-2 hours a day. Plus a hawk has been stalking them.

    Anyways, I am having a problem with one of my girls. She has a big bald spot on the back of her neck that extends around to the front a bit. I think she might be missing some feathers from the end of her tail too. The feathers around the neck look like they have been broken-- like short shafts of straw. Also her comb and wattle are pale. Not the bright red that it used to be. She seems to be the lowest in the pecking order.

    I am not sure if she is being pecked at or molting or is sick. Today I googled it as much as I could and so far I have put vinegar in their water, put vicks vapo rub on the "bald" spot and given them some yogurt and sunflower seeds for protein.

    Please help. I need ideas and suggestions!

    Thanks

    Rusty
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  2. ehinrj01

    ehinrj01 Hatching

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    Nov 12, 2010
    Here are some pictures:

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  3. ehinrj01

    ehinrj01 Hatching

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    Nov 12, 2010
    OK nobody is responding. Am I doing something wrong? Need additional information?
     
  4. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Songster

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    Dec 10, 2009
    Central PA
    ehinrj01 - Good news! This looks like a normal molt to me. What look like broken feathers and shafts of straw are pin feathers - new feathers that are just growing in that haven't fully emerged yet. My hen is just getting over a hard molt. She stopped laying when she began molting and hasn't resumed yet. Her comb and wattled are pale as well. Extra protein will help your hen's feathers grow in faster (yogurt, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, pieces of meat). You might want to check around her vent are to make sure the feather loss there is not due to lice or mites, but this is most likely due to molting as well. Here are some links for more information on lice/mites and molting. Hope this helps. [​IMG]

    Molting - http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/27_2709.htm

    Lice
    / mites - http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html
     
  5. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Songster

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    Dec 10, 2009
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    Quote:Sorry my reply took so long - I typed it the first time, then my finger slipped on the keyboard and my entire post was wiped out. Had to type the whole thing over again LOL
     
  6. ehinrj01

    ehinrj01 Hatching

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    Nov 12, 2010
    Thanks. I hope you're right. January seems like a bad time to loose feathers--brrr. It seems wrong that mother nature would plan it this way.
     
  7. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Songster

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    Dec 10, 2009
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    Quote:I've wondered about the timing myself, but I would bet mother nature knows what she is doing. I've read that hens molt during winter when most of their nutrition can go for feather replacement, rather than during warmer weather when nutrition goes for egg laying and chick raising. Don't know if this is correct or not, but makes sense to me [​IMG]
     
  8. Roy

    Roy Songster

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    Jun 20, 2007
    Central Illinois
    Looks like a normal molt to me...I think she will be fine...
     

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