Not an Emergency! Feather Loss

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Just a kid, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Just a kid

    Just a kid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2016
    Hi! Lately I have been noticing that my Americauna Hen Ducky was losing a large amount of feathers. At first I just brushed it off thinking she was molting but it has been a while now. Today I noticed that she was missing feathers near her vent, neck, and under her wings. I was thinking the cause of her feather loss was my rooster, but he is usually separated and I only left him in the coop with the girls for a couple days so I'm not sure if that can do it? Then I thought maybe she doesn't have enough protein but she is the only one that seems to be having this problem. Also on the feathers below her vent her poop has accumulated, is there anything I can do about this or should I just leave it alone? I was thinking maybe it was mites or lice but we've never had that problem before. If it is mites or lice how do I know? How do I treat them? Thank you very much for any responses?
    Just a Kid
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Can you post some photos of your hen?
    Do you see new feathers coming in where there is loss?
    How old is she?

    You will need to try to clean up the rear if she has an accumulation. Is it a "hard mass" of poop in the fluff or does she have a runny/drippy rear?

    For a hard mass (dingle berry) of poop - those can be a bit difficult to dissolve, so the best way to go is crushing it with some pliers being careful not to pinch any delicate skin - once that is crushed up and loosened then you may still have hard pieced attached to the fluff. Carefully trim those out with a small sharp pair of scissors. I have one girl that gets a dingle berry if I don't trim her fluff a couple of times a year - I just did this today[​IMG] Wear gloves if your squeamish and you may want to wear a face mask - the dried poo ball is dusty and the fluff is very fine when trimming, you don't want to breath that in.

    If the rear is poopy from loose stool/diarrhea then you will want to wash her up. Place her in a shallow tub of warm soapy water, then work the water through the vent feathers to get out as much poop as you can. You may need to carefully trim out some poop with scissors.

    In both scenarios, inspect the vent and surrounding tissue to check for any wounds, cuts, or sore spots where they poop may have been. Winter time is not quite as bad, but in warm months you want to try to stay on top of getting poop off so flies don't lay eggs on the bums - this can cause more problems.

    While you have her caught up, check her over for any lice/mites - look under the wings, at the vent and head. I'll link you to a good article with photos.

    Let us know how she's doing.

    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/08/poultry-lice-and-mites-identification.html
     
  3. Just a kid

    Just a kid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2016
    Thank You so much for responding Wyorp Rock! I appreciate very much the help and the article! I took some pictures of her, but she was squirming and my little sister was holding her so their not very good quality, sorry [​IMG].
    [​IMG]Here is a picture of her face, is there a word for the feathers on her face, I feel like there is but I cant remember it right now. She has lost a lot of feathers on her face and the ones left are pretty thin.
    [​IMG]Here is her vent (sorry its not very good, my little sister was starting to lose her grip on her)The poop is hard on her feathers but stuck in almost strands on each individual featherand all the feathers around her vent are gone. She has still been very regular in laying.
    [​IMG]Here I wanted to show you that she just looks ragged. Shes only a year old but she was always very pretty even through her awkward stages, so this is really strange for her. When I was holding her all I could feel was her skin, her feathers felt so thin. She's such a sweet hen so I'd really hate to lose her. That's why I appreciate any responds. Thank you so much for helping!
    Just a Kid
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    What type of food/treats do you feed?

    I call the feathers around her face a "muff", some people call it a "beard" [​IMG] I'm sure there is correct term though.

    I would wash her up and try to get the bum feathers cleaned and trimmed if you can.

    Usually feather loss from a rooster will be on the back, top of the wings and head/neck (where he grasps their head). Feather loss around the vent and the "muff" could be due to feather picking. Watch to see if she is being plucked by another hen, especially at night while roosting.

    You can give her some extra protein like egg or tuna and some poultry vitamins once a week to see if her feather condition improves. A lot of times feathers that have been plucked out or worn off by a rooster will not be replaced until a hen goes through her yearly molt, so she may look a little ragged until them.

    Keep watch on her, see that she is eating/drinking well and not under stress from other flock members.

    Let us know how she is doing.
     

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