More than Moulting?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by luanahenry, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. luanahenry

    luanahenry New Egg

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    Mar 15, 2010
    Wrightwood
    [​IMG]

    We have three, 22 month old, Rhode Island Reds. Their hen house is 27 sq FT. We have a fenced yard so even though we live in the mountains (6,000 FT), We let them out regularly roam the yard. They never venture past a certain point in the yard and often put themselves back in the coop at night. The problem is they have stopped laying eggs and are loosing ALL their feathers. The last couple of eggs were very light (not the normal brown). We even had a few globs. So we added Oyster Shell to their feed mix of lay mash and scratch. We also give vegges and greens to them from the kitchen. The hen pictured is the most affected but ALL are loosing their feathers. I've also noticed that their top notch is not quite as bright red. I thought they might me moulting and maturing but I think this might be a bit much. Because we live in the Mountains and have allot of shade. We have a light that automatically comes on at dusk to give them 15 hours of sunlight per day. We also have a reptile heating element in the roosting area so the temp never drops below 30 degrees. The water dish also has a heater to keep the water from freezing. My husband felt sorry for them when it snows so he puts up plexi glass panels to help cut down on snow drift in their pen. They seem to be eating and drinking normal but the poo of one of them, not sure who is very runny ANY SUGGESTIONS?
     
  2. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    I am sure others will post more than me..... but [​IMG] from San Diego.... It sounds like molting to me. When they molt they stop laying. If the poo is runny all the time that is something to be concerned about. but if the poo is runny Occasionally that is normal. Chickens do two types of poo, regular that is firm-ish, and runny stinky nasty. The runny kind is called a Cecal poo. A Cecal poo happens a couple of times a day I believe

    Part of the chickens digestive system has a pocket called the Cecum...(sp?) not sure. But this is where bacteria live to help digest the plant material they eat. Periodically this gets sent out in a goey poo. It gets replenished as the day goes on. some people feed a little yougurt periodically if they feel their chickens need it.

    For what its worth chickens don't urinate the uric acid is expelled dry and is the white patch on the regular poo.

    I know I know more than you want to know about Poo.

    deb

     
  3. luanahenry

    luanahenry New Egg

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    Mar 15, 2010
    Wrightwood
    Thank you. Do you think the loss of ALL feathers is moulting too?
     
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Chickens who are experiencing a full molt can change dramatically almost overnight.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Check out this thread. its pretty hilarious...
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...-worst-chicken-molt-pictures-fall-winter-2011

    I have Guinea Fowl and the other day I thought a coyote had gotten into the pen AGAIN. There were enough feathers in there for at least two birds.[​IMG] But I counted beaks and every one was present..... LOL. And they dont molt as dramatically as chickens do.....
     
  6. luanahenry

    luanahenry New Egg

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    Mar 15, 2010
    Wrightwood
    I just want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to help them. Thanks for the input.
     
  7. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feeding some extra protein may help them through a hard molt. Growing feathers takes protein.

    If you have some doubt about whether or not it is a molt, check them over carefully for bugs. With a molt, you should see new feathers filling in the bare patches. They will look like porcupines for a while.
     
  8. luanahenry

    luanahenry New Egg

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    Mar 15, 2010
    Wrightwood
    Thank you
     
  9. luanahenry

    luanahenry New Egg

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    Mar 15, 2010
    Wrightwood
    No bugs and some feathers growing back in some spots. Thanks for all your help
     

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