Losing feathers/ bare spot

Marbr1192

In the Brooder
Sep 5, 2020
7
3
11
I am new to chickens. I have one little pullet (about 3 months) that is losing feathers on her back rear which has created a bare spot. We can also see her pulsating where the bare spot is. I have done reading but don't know what I am looking at. Melting? Mites? Something else?
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lbgreenfield

Songster
Jul 19, 2019
389
610
126
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Hi there, it looks to me like she is losing the last of her baby feathers, but it's hard to tell in the photos. If that is the case, she will regrow her feathers once she has molted (usually late fall or early winter) and new feathers will come in. You can protect her bare spots with Durvet NuStock (not sure where you are located, I provided a USA Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Durvet-3-Pack-Nu-Stock-Ointment/dp/B0071D0T2S)
The NuStock will also help her skin heal and will prevent her from picking/plucking the feathers. If you can't get NuStock, you can also try Rooster Booster Pick-No-More (https://www.amazon.com/Rooster-Boos...+no+pick&qid=1600690655&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-2)
Or sometimes plain Vaseline will work too.

If the feather loss is caused by mites/lices/parasites, you will have to inspect her at night after they go into the coop. Mites/lice/parasites feed at night time, they will be on your chicken's skin, around the vent area, and will be very, very small. You will need a good flashlight and possibly a magnifying glass. Part the feathers and look on the skin (for mites) and at the base of the feathers (for lice). There are some good threads on BYC on how to inspect for mites/lice/parasites!

Other causes of feather loss might be:
1. Poor nutrition - I'm assuming you're feeding them the appropriate all-around good feed (I use Purina Flock Raiser for my mixed age flock).
2. Bullying - Is she getting picked on by other hens? Do you have a rooster that might be aggressive with her?
3. Lack of calcium - sometimes hens will pluck and eat their own feathers due to a lack of calcium (oyster shell), I'm assuming you're providing free-choice oyster shell.

How is she doing today?
 

Marbr1192

In the Brooder
Sep 5, 2020
7
3
11
Hi there, it looks to me like she is losing the last of her baby feathers, but it's hard to tell in the photos. If that is the case, she will regrow her feathers once she has molted (usually late fall or early winter) and new feathers will come in. You can protect her bare spots with Durvet NuStock (not sure where you are located, I provided a USA Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Durvet-3-Pack-Nu-Stock-Ointment/dp/B0071D0T2S)
The NuStock will also help her skin heal and will prevent her from picking/plucking the feathers. If you can't get NuStock, you can also try Rooster Booster Pick-No-More (https://www.amazon.com/Rooster-Boos...+no+pick&qid=1600690655&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-2)
Or sometimes plain Vaseline will work too.

If the feather loss is caused by mites/lices/parasites, you will have to inspect her at night after they go into the coop. Mites/lice/parasites feed at night time, they will be on your chicken's skin, around the vent area, and will be very, very small. You will need a good flashlight and possibly a magnifying glass. Part the feathers and look on the skin (for mites) and at the base of the feathers (for lice). There are some good threads on BYC on how to inspect for mites/lice/parasites!

Other causes of feather loss might be:
1. Poor nutrition - I'm assuming you're feeding them the appropriate all-around good feed (I use Purina Flock Raiser for my mixed age flock).
2. Bullying - Is she getting picked on by other hens? Do you have a rooster that might be aggressive with her?
3. Lack of calcium - sometimes hens will pluck and eat their own feathers due to a lack of calcium (oyster shell), I'm assuming you're providing free-choice oyster shell.

How is she doing today?

Thanks for all of this information. I'll see if I can find either of those, or something similar, but I'm not sure. I'm an Americsn living in Madaba, Jordan so things are not as easily available here. Ill look for mites and lice tonight and keep a watchful eye to see if she is being picked in too.
 

lbgreenfield

Songster
Jul 19, 2019
389
610
126
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Thanks for all of this information. I'll see if I can find either of those, or something similar, but I'm not sure. I'm an Americsn living in Madaba, Jordan so things are not as easily available here. Ill look for mites and lice tonight and keep a watchful eye to see if she is being picked in too.
Ah ok, I'm not sure what is available in Jordan for avian veterinary needs. You could also use plain Vaseline to protect her skin, hopefully that is available to you where you live.

Are you providing your flock with a good, quality chicken feed? Again, not sure what is available in Jordan, but hopefully something similar to chicken feeds here in the USA. Growing/molting feathers is tough on a chicken, so making sure they have a nutritionally complete feed is important.

Keep us posted and good luck!
 

Marbr1192

In the Brooder
Sep 5, 2020
7
3
11
Ah ok, I'm not sure what is available in Jordan for avian veterinary needs. You could also use plain Vaseline to protect her skin, hopefully that is available to you where you live.

Are you providing your flock with a good, quality chicken feed? Again, not sure what is available in Jordan, but hopefully something similar to chicken feeds here in the USA. Growing/molting feathers is tough on a chicken, so making sure they have a nutritionally complete feed is important.

Keep us posted and good luck!

Vaseline is easily available, so that's good! We do have a good quality chicken feed (best chicken feed locally available). I have a friend that works in the chicken feed industry here and he has hooked me up with the best feed, which us great.

I do add in some veggies and sometimes leftovers almost daily, but the also free range in our (dirt) yard were they mostly eat bugs. This girl loves the tomatoes I throw in usually.

Anyways, I'll get some vaseline on the bare spots and go look for any mites or lice here in a bit (it got dark about an hour ago).
 

Marbr1192

In the Brooder
Sep 5, 2020
7
3
11
Unfortunately she died this morning. She did have some bugs (I think lice over mites) so I will make sure to dust the rest of my birds real well. Hopefully that wasn't the cause of death, maybe she was just sick too.
 

lbgreenfield

Songster
Jul 19, 2019
389
610
126
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
I’m very sorry to hear that:hugs. If she did have lice (or mites), they quite literally can suck the life out of a hen. You’ll need to inspects every hen in your flock for the same thing. DE won’t work against mites/lice, you will have to completely and thoroughly clean every nook and crannie of your coop and spray with Permethrin (or th equivalent in Jordan) and also spray each bird with a diluted solution of Permethrin (diluted according to package instructions, very important to dilute or else you can give the birds chemical burns). That’s really the only way to get rid of the mites/lice, which are most likely on your other birds too. I just had one of my beloved hens get killed by mites, so I just went through this myself.

This is what I use in the USA:https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/gordons-permethrin-10-livestock-and-premise-spray-32-oz

You can also treat with permethrin dust too (works better if it’s colder than the liquid):
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/y-tex-gardstar-garden-poultry-dust?cm_vc=-10005
 

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