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mysterious missing feathers (no Rooster)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HensOnAHill, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. HensOnAHill

    HensOnAHill Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2011
    we have feather problems.
    For a while our hen has been looking like this
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=414282
    She is a Easter Egger, she is at the bottom of the pecking order.

    So we made her a saddle....
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG] she looks pretty digruntled.:)that didn't work because she hated it and would some how manage to slip it off when we put her back in the coop.
    Now her head and neck have been getting pecked.

    And her is our second problem all of our five other hens have bare bottoms....

    [​IMG]
    Erica (silver laced Wyondotte).....
    [​IMG]
    Harley (also a silver laced Wyondotte) (don't they look like twins?).....
    [​IMG]
    Wicked smart (leghorn) also has a bare stomach
    [​IMG]
    Mazy (a EE) and ....
    [​IMG]
    Freckle (golden Laced Wyondotte)
    only started today

    their is no rooster, the coop is big enough, and this started happening to the hens one at a time all the way during the fall, winter and spring.

    I hope someone knows a cure to stop this.
    we our about to get two more hens and can't wait too much longer to get them.
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    There are several reasons this could be happening: Possible mini molt, overcrowding can be an issue, boredom which can cause picking/pecking, depluming mites and/or feather lice, not enough protein in their feed. ETA: You can prevent any of these problems easily, which ones do you think it might be?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  3. HensOnAHill

    HensOnAHill Out Of The Brooder

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    If it was a mini molt wouldn't the chickens who started to lose feathers first, have grown back their feathers?
    I think it was boredom because this past winter was pretty bad and the door to the run ended up six feet under the snow drifts.
    But how do you get chickens to regrow their feathers?
    Their feed is commercial organic feed and should give them all the nutrients the need.
    I can't remember the dimensions but the coop is definitely big enough for them and so is the run.
    How do you check for depluming mites and/or feather lice.

    Another thing is that I have seen feathers growing back on some of the hens but then the next day they are gone so i'm thinking it might be a behavior issue?
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Quote:When chickens molt, it takes time for feathers to grow back, sometimes months. There is no time frame as to when they start to molt, usually a major molt occurs during the fall, but that is not a given neither. When they molt, they slow down or stop egg production. You can increase their protein intake by giving them gamebird feed which contains about 22% protein vs 16% in layer feed to help with feather regrowth. If it's a boredom issue...hang a head of cabbage on a rope in their pen within reach of their head so they can peck at it. If they are picking at each other, put Vicks vapor rub on the ones that are getting picked, the vicks will deter picking without harming them.
    To check for lice and mites; you have to physically pick them up and visually inspect them close up. Especially check around their vent area, rump, and under their wings. Here's a link for you to read regarding lice/mites:
    http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html
     
  5. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central PA
  6. HensOnAHill

    HensOnAHill Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2011
    The hens never slowed down egg production. But some of them only started to lay during the winter.

    Also there was another hen that is not mentioned because a few weeks ago she had be put down. We are thinking it may have been a weasel. But she was the same breed, size and practically everything accept having not having no feathers on her lower back. She did not have any feathers on her bottom. So why does Duck have feathers on her bottom while the same, Breed, Basically twin didn't?
    And if it is mites then shouldn't Duck be showing the same symptoms?
     
  7. HensOnAHill

    HensOnAHill Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Thanks for the link.
     
  8. HensOnAHill

    HensOnAHill Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2011
    Erica has gotten worse
     

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