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missing back feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by spotstealer, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. spotstealer

    spotstealer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Poynette, WI
    I wasn't sure wether to post this here or under egg laying, as this behavior seems to coincide with my girls starting to lay about eight days ago. I have three golden comets and three tetra-tints. It started with one bird, now four of the six are missing their feathers on their backs just ahead of thier tail feathers. There is no sign of injury or any blood. Am I correct in thinking that they may hae been in the nesting boxes (I have three boxes for the six birds) and that another of the girls wanted to get in to use it? The root of the feather is still intact so I figure they will come back at molting time. The girls don't seem to be in any discomfort either. The eggs were fantastic by the way, and already have over twenty eggs!
     
  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Aug 25, 2008
    SC
    Hi,

    My first thought was a rooster, but it appears you don't have one.

    What feed do you have them on? Once they're laying, they'll need layer feed and also oyster shell for added calcium. You can also feed their shells back to them.
    They may be plucking each other for more protein or because they're crowded?

    ETA, thank you for your 29 years of service!
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  3. spotstealer

    spotstealer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Poynette, WI
    Thanks for the reply, and your support. I had them on grower/finisher type crumbles because they were at 16 wks. I just picked up some layer feed for them and am mixing it with the crumbles since they started laying. I have also added oyster shell to their diet. I have been giving them things like yogurt and boiled eggs for protein, along with plenty of veggie scraps, oatmeal, and spagetti. I don't think they are crowded, their coop is 24 sf of floor space, the run is 8X13 sf. I also let them free range when I'm out and about in the yard. I'll see how they are after they are more regular on their new diet. It doesn't seem like the feather loss hase gotten any worse in the last couple of days. Thanks again!
     
  4. verlaj

    verlaj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2009
    Micanopy, Florida
    I'd check for lice.
     
  5. spotstealer

    spotstealer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Poynette, WI
    I'll do that verlaj, thanks. I forgot to mention the shells on gtheir layed aggs are hard as nails.
     

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