Molting or disease?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by holderh, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. holderh

    holderh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2011
    I have 5 new hens and a rooster that were just given to me yesterday. They are in quarentine away from our original 10 hens. All of the chickens should be about 7 months old. The new ones we got yesterday are missing feathers around their tails (completly bald) (on all the hens) and the rooster is missing his entire tail and some chest feathers. I wasnt sure if this was due to molting or if its where he has been breeding them or if they have some type of disease. Any tips on what to look for? This is the first year we have ever had chickens and our original hens (7 months old also) have not molted yet so i do not know what this looks like. Also, should we give the new hens and rooster a round of anti biotics or wormer? I noticed their stool was runny. I know nothing about these chickens as they were given to my husband by a coworker. I do know that there were orginally 30 birds in his flock.

    thanks so much
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Molting is supposed to start at the head / neck end. I'd say that is feather picking. There are some threads on the FAQ page about it.

    I'd treat for lice / mites and get their nutrition up before I did anything else. It may be they could all use worming but at 7 months that usually isn't critical yet.
  3. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 9, 2008
    Hahira, GA
    you've got 1 of several possible things happening.

    No it's not molting if they are completely bald, they will molt in a manner where they stay at least covered with feathers.

    here's some of your possible problems

    with feathering, bald and red usually means mites or lice. Lightly dust them with Sevin Dust (for those who will say it, yes it's a poison but it's harmless, used it for over 35 years here)

    heavy breeding can do it too, but on the back of the hens, the roos should have no problem.

    Feather picking due to being over crowded or being feed a poor diet low in protein would be my second guess. Be sure they are getting a good level protein feed, corn and scratch feed aint it and is a very poor primary diet. A Maintenance or layer ration should be fed to all birds. Some times if feather picking has been going on for a long time, the birds will develop a taste for it and will continue even after the feed has been corrected. At this point you will have no other choice but to either put blinders on them, or cut the top part of the beak back so that they cant grab feather very well, works great, grows back and usually will stop them. Just cut it back to the "quick" basically the fleshy part, you usually can see the area, it will be darker, usually just the tip is somewhat clearish, that's what you want to snip off.

    Now for the poop. Yes worm them, there are many products out there, Safeguard and Ivermectin are some of the best, doses will vary, but neither of those are water soluble, so give them a direct oral dose. Some will tell you they can be put in the water, but they will not get a good dose that way. Safeguard fall out of solution in a matter on minute and will settle at the bottom of the bowl, Ivermectin will just fall straight to the bottom. Usually 1/4- 1/2 cc per bird works great depending on age and size, bantam 1/4 large fowl 1/2

    The diarrhea can be from one of a million things, yellowish foamy runs are usually signs of intestinal parasites, but yes antibiotics should be given too seeing how these are new birds and you arent sure what they have been exposed too. You have done great by quarantining them. Keep that up til they are all healthy and fine looking for at least 30 days.

    Hope that helped a bit
  4. holderh

    holderh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2011
    Thanks so much for your responses! I will try the suggestions you have given.

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