newbie with first illness?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CuckooNest, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. CuckooNest

    CuckooNest New Egg

    May 1, 2009
    I just started with 1/2 dozen girls last spring. All has been great, until recently. One of the girls was looking scrawny, loosing feathers and I noticed the others bullying her when I would bring treats.

    I have since seperated her in hopes of it helping and so that I could monitor her food/water, feces and other habits from the others. I also wanted to be sure her environment was ideal for best recovery so I setup an isolation area. I've wanted to let her out to range during the day but it's been cold and shes none to savvy about being caught. Please help, I'm not sure what to do.

    The others all look great, shes the only one.

    She's completely stopped laying, vent area looks clear and I didn't see any signs of external parasites. Her skin looks yellowish and wrinkly. She's losing quite a few feathers. She didn't eat or drink the first couple days I isolated her but that is much improved now. I think shes looking better already than she first did but not what I hoped to see after a week. Shes warm and cozy in her isolation pen.

  2. kellysmall87

    kellysmall87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm not too sure if I am correct, but I think she's just molting. Looks like it from the pictures.
  3. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi CuckooNest,

    she looks like a well bird going through a moult. Note the baby feather buds poking through.

    They sometimes feel a little unwell when moulting, and can use a bit of extra protein like scrambled eggs to help them through it.
    She looks like a quick moulter -- many feathers at once. Some go quite bald for a short time till feathers regrow, some replace a feather at a time.

  4. CuckooNest

    CuckooNest New Egg

    May 1, 2009
    THanks for replying, sounds like good news even though I feel really silly now. I though those were quills from old bare feathers.

    It's a bit cold here at night, low 30's. Should I have any concerns about putting her back out with the other girls and allowing her to roost with them in the coop?
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Yes, she is molting. She will begin laying again after she grows in all of her new feathers and gets her body weight back up.

    Increasing her protein will help her through it quicker. Cooked eggs, meat scraps, mealworms, and tuna are some great high protein snacks.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  6. kellysmall87

    kellysmall87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Don't feel silly! That's what this forum is for...! [​IMG] Mine are moulting but they just lose one feather at a time, so it seems, so although they look a bit scruffy, it doesn't affect my hens egg laying. Some hens, like yours, really go through it :( You could keep her in the warm until she recovers a bit?

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