1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Loosing head feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Egg Farmers, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Egg Farmers

    Egg Farmers Out Of The Brooder

    We have a 17 month old Rhode Island Red hen that has lost much of her head feathers over the last three months. We also noticed her back and neck feathers appear to be wet when they are actually dry. There are three other hens in a 36 square foot coop the same age as this little girl and none of them are showing signs of loosing head feathers, or starting their first molt. However, this hen may have stopped laying too, we just can't tell yet because we get three eggs a day in the winter when we used to get four pretty consistently. We have considered their diet and have them on Purina Layena Crumbles since they were 24 weeks old. Also we have not seen any bullying, or pecking on this hen she seems to be the darling of the flock. Any idea what's going on?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    28,403
    2,351
    471
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Rhode Island Reds tend to have that shiny wet look to their feather normally. I have 5 old style RIR, and they all have it. My rooster who recently died, had the shiniest ones. See the picture of a rooster (not mine) below. It looks to me like she is either being plucked by a rooster, or by a friend who grooms her, but they can also scratch them out. I would look her over for mites and lice, just in case. Here is some reading about what to look for:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/08/poultry-lice-and-mites-identification.html
    http://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/pdf/8162.pdf

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,380
    554
    213
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    At 17 months, it is almost certainly moulting. Her face has also gone pale which is another sign. Her comb will probably go smaller, paler and dry looking too. Keep an eye out for replacement pin feathers coming in to confirm for certain. If they are all the same age, don't be surprised if the others follow suit and your egg production dries up for a month or two.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by