Loosing feathers

rbum

Songster
6 Years
Jul 27, 2014
121
4
111
Louisiana
400
I have a Rhode Island red loosing feathers on her belly. I haven't seen her being broody. Any ideas what the problem is?
 
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oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Wisconsin
Some hens will pluck themselves when they are laying. They don't have to be broody when they do this just laying, if you are worried you can check her over for parasites, otherwise there are places on chickens where there is no feathers, under their wings is one.
 

rbum

Songster
6 Years
Jul 27, 2014
121
4
111
Louisiana
Ok it seems to be spreading now . I didn't see any insects but underside is getting red see photo please.
400
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,705
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SW Michigan
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Check for bugs well after dark, part feathers down to skin and look very closely around the vent.
Search pics of lice and mites for reference...look for insect eggs at feather bases too.

What breed is she?
How old is she?
What all are you feeding?
 

rbum

Songster
6 Years
Jul 27, 2014
121
4
111
Louisiana
She is almost 3 years old Rhode Island red and we feed her egg laying pellets, fruit and veggies. Thanks for the info.
 
Last edited:

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,705
130,661
1,807
SW Michigan
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She may be eating her own feathers for the protein....do you see any feathers around the coop and run?
Layer pellets are usually minimal protein(~16%) needed to lay....the other foods dilute that protein level.


I like to feed a 'flock raiser' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
 

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