losing feather ends around the neck

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sherm, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. Sherm

    Sherm In the Brooder

    Apr 10, 2014
    I posted an issue a while back about a white leghorn I had that died suddenly, spitting up a bunch of blood. One thing that might have been an overlooked symptom was the fact that right before she died, I noticed her neck was missing a bunch of feathers on the back of her neck. I didn't think this was related to her spitting up blood, dismissed this as molting or something.

    Anyway, now the other white leghorn I have has lost the feathers around HER neck as well. Here’s what I discovered..
    1) Quills are still in the bird, but it appears that the outside feathers were picked off by fellow chickens? Although I haven’t witnessed this, all my (five) chickens get along fabulously. This happened very rapidly in both cases, like within two days.
    2) It appears the same thing might be happening under the wing.. in which case other birds are definitely not pecking the feathers away there.
    3) I inspected, and didn’t see mites, but I concede that doesn’t mean the mites aren’t there. (see pics)
    4) the other four birds I have seem like they’re in perfect health.

    I cleaned and shop-vac’d my entire nesting areas and replaced the pine shavings. I made sure that some diatomaceous earth was mixed in with their feed just in case of mites, and applied a bit of the stuff to the chicken as well, thinking it wouldn’t hurt.

    Does any of the pictures look familiar?
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    It looks mostly like regular pin feathers, new feathers growing in during a molt, looks like she is going through a full/hard molt... leghorn type layers tend to go through really hard molts, since they are bred to lay a lot of eggs they are programed to go through molts fast to get them over with Here is a nice article on molting http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/217/moulting-a-natural-process . Check out some of the pictures in the BYC Worst Molting Contest thread for a laugh.
    Some birds will eat pin feathers off of other birds, so if you do see them doing that you do need to take steps to stop them.
    A lot of people like to add some protein to the diet when the birds are molting (easiest is usually just adding some chick or game bird feed).
    DE will not do anything for an existing mite infestation if you have one, you pretty much have to use some sort of chemical means to control them.
    Molting is very hard and stressful on the bird, and if they get sick or are ill otherwise, it hits them a lot harder than it would at other times, wonder if something else was going on with your other bird and the added stress of molting made it too much for her to recover from.
    1 person likes this.

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