Is This Just a Really Long Molt?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Miyashi, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. Miyashi

    Miyashi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2011
    Gaylord, MI
    3 of my hens are naked on their back sides and the feathers are missing from the top of their heads...this I blame on my rooster...however....
    One chicken is missing her feathers on the front of her neck, her stomach is bare, her back is bare. She just looks moth eaten. No sign or mites, lice, what have you.
    I feed them 16% layer feed. They get snacks from the garden, lawn clippings, kitchen scraps, discount produce from the grocery store, seeds...blah blah blah.
    Today I filled the feeder with chick feed and gave everyone scrambled eggs. Thought maybe more protein would help?
    I keep debating getting rid of my roo....I don't want to...but maybe my girls would be happiest if it was just Roo Boy and not Gamma.
    I was considering buying them saddles, but they are expensive and I can't find a very good sizing chart.
    I am unsure if this is the right place for this or not. I didn't believe in belonged in the emergencies section.
    If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.
    The birds is question are just over a year old now.
    Cheekers, the bird I'm most worried about. (Cheeky Monkey, Chubby Cheekers, Cheeky)
  2. Miyashi

    Miyashi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2011
    Gaylord, MI
    Was this the wrong place? [​IMG]
  3. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    If they are being really heavily mated the chest and belly can be worn bare as well from the frequent contact with the ground.

    From the post it sounds like there 2 Roos with the hens. If so they will over mate 'favorite' hens with their competition. I would remove one or both boys. If you can have a seperate bachelor lot that would give the hens a complete break from the boys.

  4. Amyable

    Amyable Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Greenleaf, WI
    I have some birds with this problem too...picking up DE tomorrow and dusting everything, just in case there are mites. I make my own saddles, it's ridiculously easy and cheap using polar fleece. Just cut out 2 holes for the wings and one for the tail; the holes can be small because the fleece will stretch.
  5. so lucky

    so lucky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    Maybe nobody knows what to tell you. Do you feel the feathers are falling out on their own, they are being plucked by other chickens ,or they are pulling out their own feathers? I think I would watch them closely to see what is going on. Do they scratch themselves a lot? Feather plucking may be a sign of mites, boredom, protein deficiency or dominance. Probably other reasons. Are the chickens' skin bleeding or raw? What is your hen to rooster ratio? Are the roos missing feathers too? I don't have a solution, but you may be able to pin down the cause by observing them. That would be the first step.
  6. Miyashi

    Miyashi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2011
    Gaylord, MI
    I have a white D'uccle X Sultan who isn't interested in mating, he cares about telling the girls where the food is and keeping the chicks safe. He and Gamma (Silkie) never scuffle or anything. I have 22 birds total, 2 roos. They have plenty of space.
    The Black Stars that have worn backs look like they've just been gone at too much.
    Cheeky looks like she started to molt maybe and has been having a hard time because of the mating.
    She is also much smaller than the black that would explain the belly rubbing the ground. Gamma is a huge Silkie.
    I keep thinking I should get rid of the large rooster...find him a home where he is the only one. My wee bantie roo is my pet...Gamma is loved too...but Roo Boy is just...he's the favorite and he's such a sweet little man.
    I wasn't looking for specifics, just possibilities, anything at all...stories, successes, what have you.
    Gotta start somewhere.
    It doesn't look like they are pulling feathers. The only place the skin is raw is on their backs where they are bothered by the big guy...I put aloe on them to help and it works a bit.
    I'll have to try the polar fleece idea. I'm not much for sewing...I'm terrible this would be a good option for me! Thanks for the suggestion amyable.
  7. darin367

    darin367 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2010
    Shelton, Wa.
    2 roo's to 22 hens is fine..... i had a hen looked just like your's, bare chest and all.... could not find any mites/lice but i treated with ivermectin pour on since i had never wormed and killing everything at once seemed prudent plus alot easier than dusting.... i was almost positive i did not have mites/lice but treated anyway and just a month later they look great, so i must have had a problem.....

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