Isolated Chicken

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mcdez, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. mcdez

    mcdez New Egg

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    I have noticed over the last couple of months that one of my chickens feather are all over the yard. They are less than a year old so no molting. And now the same chicken is not sleeping inside of the coop. She is perched in the outside part of the coop. They are free range chickens- urban style but still have plenty, and now I don't think she is laying. If this is a stressor I want to nip this in the butt if I can ASAP! All feedback welcomed! TIA (Thanks in Advance)
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds like she is bedeviled by biting, chewing, and sucking external parasites. It could even be a case of "depluming mites" which live in the feather shaft and result in the complete loss of plumage, one feather at a time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Chickens can molt at less than a year...
    .....it's not a full blown adult molt but enough to find feathers around and stop laying.
    I had a 9 month old start molting back in late November.

    But pests could be a culprit here. Check her out closely, part the feathers all the way down to the skin around vent, head and neck and under wings to look for mites and/or lice on the skin and eggs at the base of feather shafts.

    As to her roosting outside.....
    How many birds?
    How big a coop(feet by feet)?
    How much roost length(feet)?
     
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  4. mcdez

    mcdez New Egg

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    Feb 20, 2014
    Ok, well maybe/hopefully she is molting a bit. She doesn't seem to be uncomfortable and I did briefly check her the other day but she wasn't too into it and will have to do a re-check. I looked around the neck and head but she wouldn't let me get near her wings- I just had to clip them a week prior. As for the vent, I'll do that check in the early evening when hopefully she is more calm. We have 6 chickens with 4 different breeds- 2 x 3.5ft roost bars, and a homemade coop @ 10x10ft.

    Thanks again for the input!
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    De-pluming mites are insidious, you can not see them because they burrow into the feather shaft or quill and feed on the dried material inside the shaft causing premature feather loss. In this respect depluming mites are very much like scaly leg mites, but what to look for is the dark or black mite feces inside of the quill. The same thing is evident with scaly leg mites depositing their feces between the leg scales or Red mite feces on white chickens, it is apparent as black stains on white feathers or light colored skin..
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  7. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't know.
     
  8. mcdez

    mcdez New Egg

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    Ok well upon further inspection of the nest boxes I did see some itty bitty grey "bugs". So I have disinfected the whole coop, removed all bedding in the boxes, and sprayed the ladies with some herbal remedy. I am going to get some dusting powder this weekend so they can be extra clean and all seems to be back to normal in the house- they are all roosting together happily :) Thanks for all of your input!!!!
     
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    For mites you need to retreat with poultry dust at 7 days and for lice at 14 days - toss all bedding and nesting material and treat the coop again as well or the bugs will be back. Have to break the life cycle in other words- eggs hatch out.

    I use permethrin poultry dust from the feed store.
     
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  10. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I didn't mean that the plumage would never grow back but that it could be lost until the next molt.
     

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