Loosing feathers help!

Chicken lady5

Chirping
6 Years
Jun 13, 2013
19
2
52





A lot of my hens and my red rooster seen here bottom left are loosing their feathers. Are they molting or is their a mite problem or what. I am really concerned. Can anyone answer this for me? It would be great to find out. Thank you!
 

chickencopper

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
104
5
60
GA Chicken Rancher
are you seeing mites deep in the pin feathers? It appears to NOT be pecking order, more of an infestation that maybe the other birds are seeing and pecking off the hens (ex. mites)
 

Nancywisdom

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 24, 2014
1
0
6
I have a buff Orpington whose back looks just like your white hen. Did you ever find out what was the cause ?
 

centrarchid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
24,252
13,954
696
Holts Summit, Missouri
Give birds access to a proper dust bath for control of potential lice. Also increase protein in diet. Problem will not resolve itself until molt gets under way. With more birds replacement of affected feathers of body will not occur until late summer.
 

Chicken lady5

Chirping
6 Years
Jun 13, 2013
19
2
52
Yes actually I examined the butt of my oldest hen and found mites and lice. So I am assuming that is the issue. So I found a neighbor that had wood ash from their wood stove they were willing to give away. So I put that out for them to dust in. Hopefully that will help them. I am also checking into ivermectin for a treatment. I don't want to throw away myeggs from a treatment.
 

Chicken lady5

Chirping
6 Years
Jun 13, 2013
19
2
52
How do I up the protein in their diet? I have read that cat food helps. I have also read that cat food is bad for chickens.
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
18,079
24,213
906
southern Michigan
You can dust them with "Poultry Dust" which is a pyrethrin, with little of no withdrawal time. That's the only approved insecticide. Sevin dust is also very effective on the birds and in the coop. Ivermectin kills internal and external parasites, except tapeworms. I will use all these products at different times, depending on the problem at hand. Sometimes not eating a week's worth of eggs is worth it in the long run... Mary
 

centrarchid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
24,252
13,954
696
Holts Summit, Missouri
How do I up the protein in their diet? I have read that cat food helps. I have also read that cat food is bad for chickens.

I assume you are using a formulation made for laying hens. Protein content of such is the lowest amount that gives good egg production under environmentally controlled conditions where parasites and the like are not complicating issues. As soon as we get birds into a mixed flock setting with more out door exposure to a range of parasites and temperature variation the cost of maintenance goes up which then conflicts with nutrition that goes to supporting egg production and in your case feathering. What I do is replace about 10 to 20% of the diet you currently use with a chick grower which will increase the overall dietary protein level. If you are concerned about calcium intake of hens when doing such, then make available some oyster shell for hens to pick at as they desire.

The use of pesticides can be used to almost eliminate external parasites but I simply go for control where the little buggers are kept a levels that do not cause serious harm. My birds make very regular use of dust baths that seems to dislodge the lice making it difficult for them to build up to high numbers. Birds without access to good dry dust have the feather problems. My birds also exhibit preferences in the dust the use. That which contains some ash from burnt wood seems to be real popular. They also seem to consider moisture content.


What does your roosting setup look like? For many, the roost is the parasites exchange area and refuge.
 
Last edited:

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
74,748
81,571
1,607
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
You can dust them with "Poultry Dust" which is a pyrethrin, with little of no withdrawal time. That's the only approved insecticide. Sevin dust is also very effective on the birds and in the coop. Ivermectin kills internal and external parasites, except tapeworms. I will use all these products at different times, depending on the problem at hand. Sometimes not eating a week's worth of eggs is worth it in the long run... Mary
Lice and mites need to be treated twice at a 10 day interval, to kill the emerging lice/mite eggs....
......depending on the chemical you use, that can be up to a 21 days with no use of chicken eggs as some chemical have a 14 days egg/meat withdrawal period.

Research thoroughly any chemical you use to control parasites.
 

Chicken lady5

Chirping
6 Years
Jun 13, 2013
19
2
52



This is the way they roost the top picture is on the left of the wooden latter roosts. I have been giving them Dumore layer feed with free choice oyster shells. At the bottom right of the latter picture there is the small container hooked on the latter with oyster shells in it. The mites seem to be gone as well as the lice. What about the eggs attached to their feathers will that eventually come off? They have been getting a qtr pound of sunflower seeds a day. Just hoping they get their feathers back before winter.
 

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