Loosing feathers...protein deficiency?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kittenchick, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. kittenchick

    kittenchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Harwich UK
    Some of my hens have lost feathers on their chest and head. Penny is the wors - She is about 2 yr old. When I looked closer, I can see she has lost feathers on her chest, back and under her wings and is is quite red. They do not have mites. I have seen people with smilar problems and they have said that it could be a protein deficiency and could be plucking their own feathers out???
    So they said to give them cat food. Then I read somewhere else that cat food is bad for them. I am so confused! Egg production hasn't stopped and they have a coop at night (with perches) and run around in dirt all day. (free-ranging) It has been very dry lately so no worms are available....?

    Am I going totally up the wrong street?

    Many thanks in advance,

    Kim
     
  2. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Southern Iowa
    They're probably just molting. I give mine some cat chow and they're okay.
     
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    kittenchick,

    Could be plucking or normal molting.
    Here's a link to feather loss. Hope it helps. Extra protein helps. IMO catfood is OK as a supplement. My chickens get the cats leftovers every day. Good luck.


    http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/library/lvstk2/mf2308.pdf

    Imp
     
  4. kittenchick

    kittenchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Harwich UK
    Thanks. i have given them Whiskers (UK) cat food super meat. Haven't noticed a difference and the PDF thing, is also confusing. It could be anything basically. Mites (maybe I haven't spotted) but others are ok or cannibalism...haven't noticed them pecking each other oh i dont know...

    Thanks anyhow.

    Kim
     
  5. kittenchick

    kittenchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Harwich UK
    Just and update... I have noticed one of my white starts loosing feathers too. Have been giving them catfood for 3 days and havent noticed any difference. Have taken some pics too...

    This is my white stars chest...


    [​IMG]

    And Pennys pics.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  6. chickabator

    chickabator Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2007
    ky
    looks to me like they are starting a molt the second pic you can see new feathers coming in. Mine molted so bad they looked like they had the mange but are finally getting their feathers back.
     
  7. juliabb95623

    juliabb95623 New Egg

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    Feb 10, 2013
    I'm having the same problems with mine. Yesterday I started adding black oil sunflower seeds to their diet. Also, hard boiled eggs, shells and all. I just chopped them fine.

    I have been noticing that when I go out to feed, water, or check for eggs that there would be some squawking, then one running from another. At first I thought they were molting and in a pissy mood. After this morning I don't see them doing that to each other. Maybe it is a protien deficency.

    About 3 months ago I stopped giving them treats after one died from fatty liver disease. That was about the time I saw the feather loss start. I was giving them dried meal worms or sunflower seeds.

    Does anyone know how long after adjusting their diet that you will see their feathers come back?
     

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