My hens look bare and sorry

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SAHMof2, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. SAHMof2

    SAHMof2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2010
    I thought I'd see if any of you had ideas on what's going on with my girls.

    For the last month and a half all but one of my eight hens are missing their feathers. They do have feathers but are a poor sight. There maybe be two that look okay but one for sure is in good condition. When I first noticed I watched to see if it would lead to cannibalism or any other nasty effects but I can't see anything other then their sorry appearance. They are still laying fantastic even though this winter has been very very very cold and long. They are yearlings and RSL.

    Given that they are eating drinking and laying should I not worry and hope it gets better when they get a chance to get out and explore their world if spring ever comes?

    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. CathyM

    CathyM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2011
    Sounds like they're molting? [​IMG] I'm pretty new, too, but apparently chicken's molt once a year, losing their feathers and then growing new ones... there's at least one topic that shows photos... try searching BYC with "molting" or "moulting" (I can't spell).
     
  3. SAHMof2

    SAHMof2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2010
    Thank you. I will search for it. I had discounted it only because we've been below -30 Celsius so very many times this year I didn't think they'd molt in those crazy conditions. What a horrid winter for a chicken.
     
  4. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    It is probably molting. Both of my roos are, one is doing it gracefully and the other looks pretty rough. I would up there protein by feeding scrambled eggs , tuna, meat etc... Definately do check for mites or lice just to make sure. One of mine had that going on at the same time. [​IMG]
     
  5. 3chimama

    3chimama Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    You are describing what my girls look like when they are molting....just to be careful I would make sure that they don't have lice. Good luck.
     
  6. SAHMof2

    SAHMof2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2010
    Thank you. Would I see them if I watched them close up for a while? How do I see if its lice? Not flees but lice? Oh good grief, my body is having a hard time with that idea!

    If they do have a bug how does one get ride of them naturally if at all? Also would the one with feathers not be affected too?
     
  7. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    Tampa Area, Florida
    Quote:[​IMG] Relax, they are not the same as people lice. If you dig through the feathers, you should be able to see them or their eggs. Use the search box to look up "lice or mites" and you will pull up a lot of info and even some pics. There are several treatment options for creepy crawlers [​IMG] . I just bought Manna Pro Poultry Protector, it is non toxic and I have heard good things about it. I paid $12.99 for a 16 oz spray bottle of it at my feed store. I don't know yet if it works so I will not promise anything. I will also be dusting my coop and run with DE.

    If one has them then I would treat all just to make sure.
     

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