Missing head feathers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Honora, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. Honora

    Honora Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,157
    271
    216
    Mar 30, 2014
    SF Bay Area
    Hi all,

    My 9 month old pullet is missing some feathers on her head. To me it looks like a molt, but from what I have read she is too young to be molting, and it seems like the wrong time of year as well.

    Could it be molting or does this mean one of the other hens is picking on her?
     
  2. ChickenLady2014

    ChickenLady2014 Feathered Frenzy

    11,540
    4,468
    431
    Jan 7, 2014
    God's Country
    Do you have a roo? They can cause feather loss when trying to mate.
     
  3. Honora

    Honora Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,157
    271
    216
    Mar 30, 2014
    SF Bay Area
    Nope, just 4 hens.
     
  4. ChickenLady2014

    ChickenLady2014 Feathered Frenzy

    11,540
    4,468
    431
    Jan 7, 2014
    God's Country
    Can you get a picture of her head? Is is possible she might have mites or lice? Is it possible that the alpha hen is pecking this gal?
     
  5. Honora

    Honora Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,157
    271
    216
    Mar 30, 2014
    SF Bay Area
    Well, I can now see new feathers starting to come in on her head, so I guess she is molting! She seems to be an early maturer compared to the other 2 pullets; they have not started laying or molting & they are also 9 months.

    At least now I know that chickens can molt at this age.
     
  6. ChickenLady2014

    ChickenLady2014 Feathered Frenzy

    11,540
    4,468
    431
    Jan 7, 2014
    God's Country
    That's good feathers are coming in. I have 1 leghorn who started molting earlier this fall, even stopped laying eggs completely. But other than her tail feathers and all the others looking dull that was it. Then all the sudden she started loosing feathers on both sides of her neck, but she started up laying off & on. Months later she still looks the same. I have wormed her, dusted her for mites & lice, but still her feathers are no growing back. She will be 2 this spring & the way she has been looking I may put her down. Her feathers are faded, falling out, she was white but decided she needed to dust bath under the coop so she looks very dirty. She just isn't acting like herself and then to boot she got her comb frostbitten this past week in our frigid temps. So now the tips of her comb are white & the area that attatched to her head is swollen. The poor thing looks absolutely pathetic.
     
  7. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chillin' With My Peeps

    416
    44
    94
    Mar 25, 2014
    Canby, Oregon
    I also have a 9-month old hen who looks like she's molting but just around the neck and head. I wondered if she was being picked at but have seen no evidence of such. She has also of late taken to sleeping in a nest box instead of the roosting board that she has used all her life. So maybe she's getting picked at on the roosting bar at night, but I doubt it. The affected area around her neck looks like classic molting patterns that I have so far only seen pictures of. Odd thing... she sleeps in a nest box but I don't find any poop in there. Maybe she waits until everyone else is asleep and then sneaks in.
     
  8. ChickenLady2014

    ChickenLady2014 Feathered Frenzy

    11,540
    4,468
    431
    Jan 7, 2014
    God's Country

    This is my leghorn fall 2014, now she looks worse. Just can't understand it, the 2 other older birds that I got the same time as her went thru their molt and went back to laying. She still hasn't grown any feathers back. My flock is fed Purina all flock raiser that is high in protein, they have every since they got off the grower/finisher feed. If anyone has a suggestion that might help, I'm open to hear about them.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Honora

    Honora Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,157
    271
    216
    Mar 30, 2014
    SF Bay Area
    Aw, so sorry to hear about your hen. :( Did you post in the Emergencies/Diseases forum? People there are usually really helpful. Hope she is feeling better soon.
     
  10. weezilgirl

    weezilgirl Out Of The Brooder

    56
    2
    31
    Jun 26, 2012
    Have you given her any kind of supplement? I would try that first. I have used Red Cell in their water. It won't hurt
    the other chickens. In fact, it is used to condition hunting dogs and horses. It is made up of tons of minerals, etc.
    I would try antibiotics also for the comb. I always treat and give them 3-4 days. If they continue to go down, then
    I send them to the big chicken coop in the sky. Hens are so spunky and I try to give them a second chance.
    antibiotic I use is Duramycin-10. I mix it with water and give it by dropper, very carefully. Look on internet for
    dosage for chickens.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by