Loosing lots of feathers, why?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lauraflowera, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. lauraflowera

    lauraflowera In the Brooder

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    2D487A71-71F1-47F3-864D-ADF65D26E388.jpeg D0107E8B-3801-41AE-BB46-6FBA49734E97.jpeg 7C4EB9B8-9BAB-4C05-A81B-6E49BD200E82.jpeg E4FF0F17-3367-446F-AA2A-2D8313B68C5C.jpeg 962755FD-AB16-4204-B9F2-5E630C9D5571.jpeg I am very worried about one of my hens who has been loosing lots of feathers on her back increasingly in the last few days. There are some scabby areas too and I feel like the loss is advancing .
    She is a motled Houdan. She is part of a 6 hen backyard flock. They pasture most of the day in a good size yard. They Have organic crumble, water, and oyster shells always available. She is not at the bottom of the pecking order, but somewhere in the middle.

    I checked all the other hens ( all are a little 1 year old and have gone thru one molting late last year) and I see some small unfeathered areas on some of the others but none with scabs or broken off feathers. Maybe that is just skin without feathers for cooling.

    Usually I get 3-6 eggs a day and today I got one.

    Another weird fact is that one hen, not her and not sure exactly which has been laying wrinkly eggs for the last 2 months. Can’t figure out why. Now other eggs are also starting to look wonky and uneven. See pics. Not sure what is related. This is soooo confusing and worrisome.

    Also I am going on vacation for a wk in about 4 days
    Please help!
     
    4 ever Orpington likes this.
  2. Redhead Rae

    Redhead Rae Chickens, chickens everywhere!

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    Hello, and welcome.

    Did you have a light source on all winter and recently remove it? Doing that can initiate their molt cycle that was put off by the supplemental light.

    @Farmer Connie dealt with similar egg issues recently and discovered it was diet related.
     
  3. micstrachan

    micstrachan Free Ranging

    That looks like feather pecking to me. Can you switch to a higher protein feed? Feather pecking can stem from boredom, over crowding, stress, not enough protein, or just simply bad behavior. If you can determine who’s doing the pecking, you can isolate her for a few days to try to break the habit. Good luck!
     
  4. 4 ever Orpington

    4 ever Orpington Mr.& Mrs Orpington

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    :welcome
     
  5. micstrachan

    micstrachan Free Ranging

    Forgot to mention, if your girls are pastured in a big area, boredom and over crowding are probably not your issue. You can also offer a high protein treat like tuna or scrambled egg to supplement the feed until you can get some feed with more protein.
    Not sure about the eggs. Are any of them sneezing? Infectious Bronchitis can cause wonky eggs and sometimes the only symptom is sneezing. I think they can have it with no synptoms at all. Not sure. You might want to look into that.
     
    lauraflowera likes this.
  6. lauraflowera

    lauraflowera In the Brooder

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  7. lauraflowera

    lauraflowera In the Brooder

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    No history of light source. We are in a California. The hens have been on the same diet since they started laying last year. A complete layer feed crumble. They forage most of the day. I also give them lots of veggie kitchen scraps.I give them daily mealworms and put a splash of apple cider vinegar in their water.
     
  8. lauraflowera

    lauraflowera In the Brooder

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  9. lauraflowera

    lauraflowera In the Brooder

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    No sneezing. Daily I throw them a couple of handfulls of mealworms.
     
  10. lauraflowera

    lauraflowera In the Brooder

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    I’m not watching the hens all day as I work but I’ve been observing and I don’t see any aggressive behavior or pecking towards this chicken. I worry about isolating her and creating more stress for her and she does appear rather stresses. She is usually fine to be picked up but right now she really does not want it.
     

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