Motley looking chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Honor, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Honor

    Honor New Egg

    Apr 16, 2009
    Hi - I'm a new subscriber and I look forward to learning more about chickens from everyone. I have had a flock of chickens (ranging from 6-12 hens) for over 6 years and until this year, I have been extremely proud of their condition. This year, however, they look terrible. No feathers around their butts and bald patches on their backs, close to their tails. Also, some have bald patches on their necks. 10 of the 12 hens arrived as chicks last May. The other two are at least four years old and they look GREAT! I have checked for mites and can't see anything - and why wouldn't my old girls get them? For some reason, they all sit tightly together on one roost when there is plenty of room on a near by roost so I thought maybe they were picking at each other - except that hens sleep in the nest boxes and they don't look any better than those on the roost. I thought maybe they were molting, which would make some sense as to why the older hens weren't affected but this has been going on for at least three months, maybe longer. I live in Maine and try to keep the hens protected during the winter months. We have a great chicken house but this year we worked extra hard to keep out the cold. In so doing, I noticed the wood pellets we used held moisture and were frozen solid a lot of the time. I was wondering if maybe we did too good a job and the air in the house didn't circulate enough. Would that cause feather problems? Any hints of what I could try to bring my girls back to their former beautiful selves? They, and I would be most grateful. Thank you. Honor
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I can't really help you but am interested in the replies you may get. I am having a similar problem with some new hens I bought from a fellow who said the missing feathers were from rooster riding.

    I checked their skin carefully before buying them and could see no evidence of mites. They have been with me for about 3 weeks now and I had hoped to see more recovery of feathers by now....but they are missing feathers and have short growth in the same areas you describe.

    I don't wish to use Sevin dust on my flock but may consider DE if this is a sign of mites. I don't want my flock to get mites...have never had that and don't wish to do so.

    My flock free range and have numerous places to dust. Also, this new set of hens don't really hang around with my others and kind of keep to themselves, so there is a good chance they might not infect my flock, if its mites.

    Good luck.....and hoping we both find out!!! [​IMG]

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