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molting or a more serious problem?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Rooneytune, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. Rooneytune

    Rooneytune Chirping

    Feb 18, 2011
    my ladies are going through a "rough patch" several are molting (evidence of new feathers coming in) but one looks like her tail feathers got caught in something, two are broken and bloody [​IMG] a third hen is almost completely bald on her underside... she looks like she should be in a package at the store... I added a flock block to give them something to pick at other than each other and bought them meal worms to add protein... My question was, does this sound like a normal molt or is there something more sinister at work?

  2. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    Over mating from a roo or several Roos...feather picking...lice or mites?
  3. If you have any boys whats your ratio of boys to girls?

    Inspect your girls really close and see if you see any creepy crawlies on them - white 'dirt' looking stuff around their feathers, red or black mites moving on the skin... if you see any bugs - treat them with one of the following : a drop of frontline on the back of the neck and the base of the tail (1 little tube of frontine you can treat like 10 birds) - adams flea spray (spray them thoroughly at the skin), or ivermectin pour on. all good ways to rid them of bugs.

    watch them and see if your seeing them pick each other, if they are picking each other - give them other things to do - sounds like your trying that already. cabbage strung through and hung up works well too.

    You should up their protein intake too a bit while they are molting and growing in new feathers. growing new feathers takes alot out of your hens, and they can use the protein.
  4. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Sevin dust also works for lice/mites. Eprinex works for one but not the other. They are hard to see, and the live bugs may only be on them at night. With a bad infestation you should see clusters of eggs at the base of the feathers. The bald breast area is ordinarily something the hen has done to herself. A broody hen will do this, for good contact with the eggs during incubation. Sometimes a hen will go "partly broody" and exhibit some but not all the behaviors. If the feather itself is bleeding, meaning coming out of the middle of the shaft, you may have to pull it to stop the bleeding.

    Are they crowded? You may not have any feather picking at all. Whatever the reason for the losses, I agree extra protein is a good idea.

    Good pics of lice/mites here:


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