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Loss of feathers around tail/vent... and it's spreading!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Rick1013, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Rick1013

    Rick1013 Hatching

    Mar 5, 2012
    I have eight hens, about 9 months old. For about three months, my Rhode Island Red has had red, bare skin showing above and below her tail feathers and on her sides behind her legs. It looks like some of her tail feathers have been broken-off flush with her skin. She seems active and eats well, but the loss of feathers is gross-looking and worries me.

    This weekend, I noticed that one of my Buff Orpingtons is losing feathers on her sides. Not as bad as the Red (yet), but it is still concerning.

    I cleaned out their coop, put in fresh bedding and looked closely at the Red, but can't see any mites/lice (but I may just not know what to look for).

    I am very concerned about the Red (much more advanced case) and am worried that the problem is spreading to the other hens.

    The first photo shows the topside of the Red's tail. The second photo shows what's happening to the Buff.

    Take a look and HELP ME if you can! I am worried about my girls!



  2. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    You might have a feather pecking problem... I've seen many suggestions here about adding protein to their diets to try and curb the pecking. Apparently the problem is often due to a protein deficiency problem. My personal favorite - canned catfood. But I've seen lots of great ideas from going back to a grower feed for awhile, to dry catfood, scrambled eggs, etc. In the meantime, my first step is to either spray with blukote to mask the redness (they will peck the red) or put on some Rooster Booster Peck-No-More. You might try to figure out which bird is the culprit! Then put some pinless peepers on him/her!

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