Neck feathers missing (pics)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by amber77006, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. amber77006

    amber77006 New Egg

    Nov 22, 2009
    I have two RIR. They are nearly a year old. I'm a new chicken owner. I live in the inner city and was hesitant to get chickens, but so glad I did. They are delightful. I have an issue and would appreciate any thoughts.

    Both are missing feathers on their necks, although one has more pronounced balding than the other.

    Pictures here of the neck + one really weird egg(!):

    I noticed the missing neck feathers about 3 months ago. It has not got worse or better. Initially, I thought they were molting, but the feather loss is only around the neck and has remained constant. Perhaps it was mites, but I checked them over carefully and didn't see any mites. (are mites visible?).

    Weird thing was, during our photo session today, they started preening, and the hen with the least feather loss preened/plucked the neck of the hen with the naked neck. I've never seen that before, but I wonder if that's causing the feather loss? They get along splendidly, no bickering whatsoever, and the naked-neck-hen is the more dominate of the two, but that incident got me wondering.

    They are feed layer pellets, vegetable scraps, and occasional scratch. They free range about 1 hour a day.

    Any ideas about what is causing the feather loss? Could it be mites and are mites visible within the feathers? Do you think it's caused by them plucking each other, how do I prevent that? Anything else I haven't thought of?

    Thank you.
  2. Daisygirl

    Daisygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2009
    New Zealand
    I'm sorry to say that it's probably them plucking each other. Try separating them, so they can see each other but not reach and see what happens. And [​IMG]
  3. DutchChicky

    DutchChicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 4, 2008
    Hi there
    Welcome to BYC
    One of my White leghorn has the same problem, also already for a few months.
    I personally wouldn't seperate them, you only have two. They get loney and it can take a long time for the feathers to grow back,
    that would mean a long time of unhappy girls!
    If it doens't cause any discomfert I would just play it out.
    Give them some grass clippings or scratch, or more time out free range, maybe they are bored and that's why the one pulls them out of the other.
    Just my thought! [​IMG]
    Mine I just let go , she lays fine doesn't seem bothered by it.
    The cold coming in the winter might become an issue.
    By the way that is a weird egg!!
    But that happens sometimes too
  4. dacdeihl

    dacdeihl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2009
    NorthEast, In
    [​IMG]I found blinders to work for aggressive feather pecking. But also discovered that some of my chickens have mites and lice. I don't know which started first, the mites causing feather pecking or pecking and then the mites and lice. [​IMG] But, blinder are easy to put on if you have a extra hand. You can get a bag of ten from I use the pinless ones, it just seems a whole lost less painful for them. The others have pins that go all the way through their nostrils. Yikes!!! Item # 10096 Don't get the pliers. Just use your hands.

    BTW - Your egg that looks like a squash it amazing!!! That's the most interesting egg I've seen. Your girls must be creative.
  5. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Maybe some extra protein would help with the feather regrowth. Higher protein feed, or meat scraps added to their diet. Free range can help with that, too. If they can still find bugs and worms this time of year.

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