Losing Feathers on their but there are no feathers

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Patty K-MA, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Patty K-MA

    Patty K-MA New Egg

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    Apr 17, 2011
    I have not found any mites but I think that I have mice. Some of my chickens are missing feathers on their bottoms and towards their belly and have some scabbing. I checked for mites but don't see any. I do have a lot of mice (even get them in my home). We used to keep the food outside but moved it into the coop during the winter. Seeing that I am not finding any feathers in the coop (not a single one). I suspect that that is the cause. But I do have a loss of production that is = to the number of chickens with missing feathers. They are only a year old and this is the first spring that we have had them & there is no rooster. Should I treat for mites & set some traps. If traps, what kind is safe? I use simple snap traps in the house but I don't want "The Ladies" to step on them. Is there a safe way to place them in the coop?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2011
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    What are you feeding your ladies? As my first thought was not mice (my chickens eat mice), but that one or several of your birds are picking and eating the feathers. This usually happens because they aren't getting enough protein in their diet, but can also be caused by boredom and lack of space. If none of these things applies to you, I suppose maybe it could be the mice..........just wasn't my first thought. Good luck!
     
  3. Montana cluckers

    Montana cluckers Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2010
    some of my girls have bare spots between their wings on their backs. I think they're picking at each other. I let them free range some, but we had a near-miss with a neighbor dog today, so now I don't want to let them out. They get layena pellets and cracked corn, as well as oyster shells. What else should I be giving them? or is it just boredom?
     
  4. Patty K-MA

    Patty K-MA New Egg

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    Apr 17, 2011
    Thanks, had not thought of that. It is cold in new england and they have been penned up more than when they are in the summer. I live on a busy street and we can't let them run free or they will end up in the Dunkin Donuts drive thru (really we live next to it). I have a larger fenced in back yard. I will let them out in that more. I did not realize that they would eat their own feathers. We have a fenced in chicken run attached to the coop so I figured with my husband leaving the door open at night the mice were getting in but you never know. Thanks.
     
  5. kartking22

    kartking22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with lack of protien. I have actually witnessed my birds pluck a feather from anothers' back and eat it.
    A good cheap way to get them protien is to visit your local butcher shop and buy a large piece of beef fat. Suet blocks are also a good source of protien as they are mostly fat and seeds. Maybe even try to get some used oil from Dunkin Donuts.
     

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