New Mama hen losing a tremendous amount of feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CedarCrestFarm, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. CedarCrestFarm

    CedarCrestFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2014
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    My Cochin hatched a few late season chicks 2 weeks ago. Today I noticed that she is losing feathers on her neck, back and stomach. I have checked for parasites and don't see any signs of such. She is very stressed and I am not sure why, as she is removed from the rest of the flock. Have not seen this before, has anyone experienced such a thing?
     
  2. lightchick

    lightchick Overrun With Chickens

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    She could be molting. Could you post some pics?
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I would put her back with the flock, and she will take care of her chicks and protect them if she is a good broody. Broodies tend to pick out their belly and chest feathers to sit on eggs, but it does sound like she may be molting. That typically happens around 18 months of age and yearly thereafter.
     
  4. CedarCrestFarm

    CedarCrestFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2014
    Kirtland Hills, Ohio
    Thank you so much for the response! I put her back and she was very protective and after about an hour, she and the chicks settled down. I picked her up and the feathers were just falling off of her. Although it does seem like a molt, the fact that it started to happen after chicks hatched had me worried.

    I will post some pictures tomorrow!
     
  5. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    The hens do not eat well when they are hatching chicks. They need a higher protein food to help them through. I feed a small amt like 1/2 cp per hen of calf-manna plus their usual feed to help them. Is there a way to get her some higher protein to be able to produce her feathers back after she sheds them? The chicks need a higher protein food too like chick starter so maybe both would benefit from some extra feed.
     

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