My black australorp plucked all of her throat feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pesky, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. pesky

    pesky New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2012
    Hi, I am pretty new at being a chicken parent. Well, in my case, a chicken grandparent. ;) My question involves my black australorp hen. I believe she is about 10 months old. She could be a little older. Anyway, she has always been a preener. Probably more than is typical because she was an only bird for several months. I noticed recently that she has plucked all of her throat feathers. Is this normal?
    She appears healthy otherwise. We got 2 chicks at the end of September, and she is a wee bit jealous of them. I am wondering if perhaps she is stressed? She is not showing any other symptoms. She lays consistently, free roams the entire yard, sleeps in her cage at night in the house, and is an indoor/outdoor chicken. Other than the babies, I cannot think of anything that has changed. I believe she molted several months ago, if the amount of feathers she lost is an indicator.
    I am really at a loss as to why she would be doing this. When she is let out of her cage first thing in the morning, she goes outside to do her business. She lets out a pretty impressive squirt of greenish, runny, poop. Could there be more than one issue here?
    Any help is greatly appreciated, thank you.
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I'm wondering how in the world she's able to pluck her throat feathers??? How does she reach??? In wondering that, I would just make certain that you've inspected her closely for mites/lice. Also, are you certain this area had regrown since her last molt?? Now if it was belly feathers, I'd wonder if she was trying to go broody, but not with throat feathers...
    For the most part, I go by actions (eating/drinking/activity level) as to whether I worry about a possible illness or not. Since she's been behaving normally, if you find no parasites (look at the skin and feather shaft bases around her rear end and under her wings), then I probably wouldn't worry at this point. I'm not sure if stress could cause this or not????
     
  3. pesky

    pesky New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2012
    She bends her head in such a way as to preen under her "chin". For all I know, this may be normal? The first pic is a few months ago, and it shows feathers on her throat. The second pic is today. Sorry, it's blurry, and I couldn't capture the entire area of baldness.


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    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  4. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    Are you SURE that SHE is doing it? Have you see it? I have 4 black australorps and two of them have their necks bare right now - but it's from one of my leghorns! SHE has been pecking at them!
     
  5. pesky

    pesky New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2012
    No, I haven't actually saw her doing anything in that area except preening. She is a huge preener. The only other chickens we have are much smaller than her, and they are terrified to go anywhere near her. It sounds like this is not caused by an illness then? I hope I hope! :) Thank you for your answers, all.
     
  6. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    You COULD try giving her some extra protein in her diet. My preference is canned cat food as I KNOW they will eat plenty of that! They love it!!
     
  7. pesky

    pesky New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2012
    Oh, yes, they do!! The poor kitties don't get any when the chickens are out. ;)
     

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