Molting? Mites? Pecking? - Pics included

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by redriver, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. redriver

    redriver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know what the heck is going on with a few of my girls. Two tan EE sisters in particular have been loosing feathers like mad, especially on and around their head. One started losing them about a week or two before the other one. I've checked them several times to see if I could find any mites/lice/whatever and haven't found anything. Opinions please! The poor tan EE lost about half a dozen feathers while we were taking photos.

    Diet wise, they eat layer pellets, with oyster shell and grit freely offered. Only recent change has been a flock block that I offered about a month ago when the yard was covered with snow. They free range the yard during the day.

    This is a pic of what the hen looked like when she was young and had all her feathers.
    [​IMG]
    Now she is the pathetic one on the left.
    [​IMG]

    This shows all of the pin feathers on the back of her neck.
    [​IMG]
    Head and front of neck are all bare. There are little black dots (old blood?) where the feathers used to be in a few places.
    [​IMG]
    Pile of feathers collecting in the corner of the run.
    [​IMG]

    These two girls are fine except that on the front of their neck they are both missing feathers. It is something new in the past week. I don't know if they are doing it, or another hen is picking on them. The Barnevelder lost her tail feathers due to a dog and just hasn't grown them back yet.
    [​IMG]
    Blurred front view.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    I'd dust them and their coop with some poultry dust or 5% Sevin powder.

    -Kathy
     
  3. redriver

    redriver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So you're thinking mites?
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    I'm thinking that's the easiest to rule out. [​IMG]

    -Kathy
     
  5. redriver

    redriver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good point! Does this look like molting at all to you?
     
  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    It looks to me like difficult moulting and perhaps some pecking going on. Biotin, methionine, vitamins A, D, E are all important during moult. People who often feed lots of vegetables and other things labeled as "treats" interrupt the nutritional balance in formulated feeds. Some folks offer gamebird crumbles or pellets during moult which are usually between 20% & 24% protein. Or you can also mix well strained, no salt tuna mixed in feed two to three days a week. Just make sure you mix just enough that they eat it all in a short amount of time since you don't want it to get rancid. When they finish moulting they can go back to a layer ration.

    Mix up some vitamin-mineral-probiotic powder labeled for poultry in the waterers 3 days a week. Mix it fresh each morning. Avian Super Pack + Probios or Merricks Blue Ribbon Poultry Electrolyte Pack are a few of the good quality ones. This will help relieve stress and prevent deficiency.

    Like Kathy mentioned, check your birds for any mites or lice on their bodies and let us know if you see any.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
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  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    It could be, but I would still dust them. [​IMG]

    -Kathy
     
  8. redriver

    redriver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just went out and checked them again with a headlamp while they were roosting. Checked around their vent area, which I hadn't done before, and found absolutely nothing. I don't give them many treats, just a soft apple or an ear of corn every now and then. They have been foraging in the garden, but there isn't much there at this time of year. Hopefully, it really is just molting. Will get some higher protein pellets at the feed store tomorrow, and also check for Sevin Dust.

    Thanks for the help, and I will keep you guys updated.
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    I feed a 27% turkey starter or a 30% gamebird starter (Purina) to mine during periods of stress.

    -Kathy
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Tacswa3

    Tacswa3 Out Of The Brooder

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    How old are the birds? They do go through a juvenile molt around 12 weeks of age. Its usually considered a soft or minor molt.
     

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