Missing Belly Feathers?-Help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mylilchix, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. mylilchix

    mylilchix Songster

    I have one hen who has a feather picking habit. After notcing that a few of my hens were looking rather ragged last night, I decided to remove her from the flock. When I picked her up I saw that she was missing most of the feathers on her belly. There was also a small scabby looking area. I took her out, looked at a few of my other layers and saw the same thing. I treated the flock for mites/lice this morning as well as bleached and dusted the coop. What could be causing this? My non layers look good, but my original flock who are a year old look terrible. Could the missing feathers be from sitting in nest boxes? Thanks for any advice!!

  2. kycklingar!

    kycklingar! Songster

    Feb 9, 2009
    Linköping, Sweden
    I don't know about the scabs, but chickens pluck their breast feathers intentionally when they are setting on eggs. This allows them to press the warm flesh of their tummy on the eggs and keep them warm. The feathers keep their heat near the body, and don't permit it to radiate effectively to the eggs.
  3. M To The Maxx

    M To The Maxx Baseball+Girls=Life

    Jul 24, 2009
    I agree.
  4. mylilchix

    mylilchix Songster

    I was wondering that, although I only have one hen on the verge of going broody. It's odd because it's only certain birds too. The scabby spot is more like a scaly, dry skin patch than an actual wound. Maybe my hens are removing feathers. Thanks for your help!!

  5. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Songster

    May 15, 2009
    If they are plucking them and eating them they have a protein deficiency. Feed them scrambled eggs, cottage cheese and dried cat food. Not dog food.

    Could also be mites or lice
  6. mylilchix

    mylilchix Songster

    Thanks for the input. I treated everyone for mites/lice this morning. I also have some feed here that's high in protein, so I'm mixing that with the layer feed. It seems to only be my 1 y/o layers who have the problem, and everyone else looks good. Hopefully, it's just a case of feather picking. They also need a bigger run which I'm in the process of building.


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