Multiple hens with bald patches near tail and several unexpected deaths


In the Brooder
Sep 20, 2019
Hello friends. We had 36 hens all about 7 months old. Breeds are Wyandotte, Ameracauna, Production Red, Black Sex Link, and Isa browns. All but the Reds and Isas are missing round patches of feathers about 3 inches in diameter on their backs just above their tails. (See pic). For a while it seemed like only the Wyandottes had the patches and I thought they were being picked on by the others. However, now others have it, too. I thought it could be mites and did a deep clean of their coop and spread DE, which we use frequently in coop, run, and food. In the past two weeks three hens have died unexpectedly, but prior to death became legarthic, somewhat lame, and seemed a bit confused and unbalanced. The one today couldn't seem to hold its head in a normal position. It was turned nearly complete backward and sideways. Additionally, several have nasty diarrhea and some have stopped laying. We are only getting about 18 eggs a day now when we ought to get nearly double. We have a huge, clean coop and run and mainly feed them laying pellets, scratch grains, and fruits and veggies. They have never been around other hens and we got them within a week of each other from a local feed store when they were newly hatched. I don't know if these conditions are all related but I am at a loss for what to do. I am grateful for any advice you can offer. IMG_20190925_165619.jpg
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Can you post some more pics? Sometimes they will start pecking and eating feathers if they don't get enough protein. Do they have raspy breathing? DE is bad for birds (or you) to breath. Plus DE doesn't really help with anything hippies claim it cures. Someone will more medical expertise than I have should be along soon.

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