lost feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KHAKI EGGS, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. KHAKI EGGS

    KHAKI EGGS Just Hatched

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    Dec 4, 2016
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    I have 2 chickens who have lost a large patch of feathers on their backs. Any suggestions as to cause or treatment?
     
  2. mamacatts

    mamacatts New Egg

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    Dec 8, 2016
    I have this same problem! We did have a rooster with 5 of them but we've removed him this spring to his own place beside the girls. We're working on building up a very large coop. Now I have noticed other hens mounting each other. In fact this hen, Ruby and the one in the crate below her, Henrietta; I came home to feed them and they both had bloody combs! So clearly fighting each other. They're fed Nutrawise so they have all the good stuff that I don't need to add. Today I purchased some barley pears to make my own fodder.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado

    Your hens are most likely molting, especially if they look like @mamacatts... Whose hen is molting ;)

    The big bare patch is what they pull out themselves when they molt. Looks just like the pic, and in a couple days you'll notice "pin feathers", that look like thick needles growing in. Those are new feathers encased in their sheath. Takes anywhere from a week to a month to fully molt all their feathers, and they usually do it in late fall in preparation for winter.
     
  4. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    Keep an eye on it and make sure they aren't getting too rowdy while she's regrowing her feathers; it can be painful and distressing to them. They may still be working out some kinks in the pecking order, especially if they're tight on space.
     
  5. KHAKI EGGS

    KHAKI EGGS Just Hatched

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    Dec 4, 2016
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    Thank you so much for the help. We are new to this.
     
  6. KHAKI EGGS

    KHAKI EGGS Just Hatched

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    Dec 4, 2016
    NC
    Thank you so much for the help. We are new to this.
     
  7. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado

    No problem! It can be a bit shocking to put all the time and energy into them, and one day you notice they don't look so hot ;)

    I have a few with no tails and a few with bare backs; half of my flock is molting at the same time, so they look pretty bad :D

    Notice the big pile of feathers behind her; that's common to find when they're molting.

    [​IMG]


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    *eta: adding a bit more protein when they're molting can really help. Things like BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) and high protein meals like soybean or alfalfa, meat byproducts, etc can help regrow nice shiny feathers and help them get over the protein loss from growing them. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  8. KHAKI EGGS

    KHAKI EGGS Just Hatched

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    Dec 4, 2016
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    Thank you again. Considering Sunflower seeds.
     
  9. KHAKI EGGS

    KHAKI EGGS Just Hatched

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    Dec 4, 2016
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    ONE OF OUR CHICKENS LAYS AN EGG THAT IS SPECKLED AND IT WASHES OFF. I AM WONDERING IF THIS IS BLOOD AND IF SHE HAS A PROBLEM, OR IF SHE IS IN DANGER.
     
  10. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado

    She's probably not in "danger" but sometimes speckled eggs can be caused by a nutrient deficiency. I have a couple of hens that lay "freckled" eggs and I just assume that something happens during the final stage of shell getting put in the egg right before being laid. Kinda like a sloppy paint job on a car ;)
     

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