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Losing neck feather

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BillyPilgrim, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. BillyPilgrim

    BillyPilgrim In the Brooder

    Nov 21, 2016


    I am completely new to chickens and have a brood containing 2 Buff Orpingtons and 4 "brown layers". The Buffs are about 8 months old and the brown hens are 5 months old. They get to free range for an hour or two about 4 time a week.

    One of the Buffs has been losing feathers on her neck, some missing and some looking broken, for about a month now, she has also stopped laying and had an occational sneeze. The skin on her neck seems a bit white and flaky. The rest of the birds seem to keep her at a distance but I haven't seen anyone pecking at her. She has gone from being quite cuddly to pecking at us whenever we try to touch her.

    I looked for parasites but didn't see anything but I'm not sure what I'm looking for. The rest of the bird seem ok and are laying.

    I have attached a pic of her neck.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    She is molting and those quill like feathers are 'pin' or blood' feathers. They will lose the translucent sheath and she will be beautiful once again. They can become irritable when molting. You might want to add a little BOSS or dry cat food to her diet.

    edited to add that it is unusual for a bird as young as her to molt.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. BillyPilgrim

    BillyPilgrim In the Brooder

    Nov 21, 2016
    Thanks for the reply,

    That's what I was hoping was going on but I thought she was too young.

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