NOT molting. . . . What's up with these feathers? (pic)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by azelgin, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,277
    45
    193
    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    OK, none of my other 48 chickens EVER looked like this before, during, or, after their molt. Just the usual scraggly, semi bald chickens. Is this because it's winter and cold? Is she weird? Will she be normal some day? She looks like a giant, downy, chick with a few normal wing feathers hear and there. Feels like a big cotton ball. She is right at 10 months old. Any ideas?

    [​IMG]

    She used to look like this as a youngster:

    [​IMG]

    She is getting free choice layer, scratch, BOSS, A little cat food now and then, kitchen scraps and whatever she can find while free ranging all day. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    13,295
    18
    291
    Aug 25, 2008
    SC
    Wow, did somebody swap chickens on you?

    That is a totally different look. Is she eating, laying, pooping etc. normally? If she is, I'd just let her be, and take a new pic weekly. You might check some things- are the other chickens beating her up, is she getting enough protein, does she have mites or other bugs?

    What breed is she supposed to be? There are so many variables, it's hard to say. Maybe someone has had that happen and will know about it.

    Good luck, it is an amazing change!
     
  3. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,277
    45
    193
    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    Quote:She is absouloutly normal in ever other way. Healthy, as far as I can tell. Not skinny or fat. Didn't notice any sign of lice on her. She's just fuzzy. I don't think she is being picked on and is one of the higher ups in the pecking order. I haven't thought to see if she is in the nest box laying, but, I'll keep an eye out for her. I got her with a batch of GLW hatchery chicks. She had a single comb, instead of the rose comb, so, i posted a pic and asked questions about her then. Folks said it was not common, but does happen.
     
  4. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,277
    45
    193
    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    I had the wrong juvinille picture posted and I've changed it, but she still never looked like she does now.
     
  5. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,277
    45
    193
    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    OK, she has looked like this for a couple of months now, at least. She is eating, laying, pooping and everything else a normal chicken does. The feathers appear as if all the ends have been broken off, leaving only the downy under part. The ONLY "normal" feathers left are a few major wing feathers. I have one other hen, besides her, out of almost 50 chickens, that has some of these same symptoms. Also a GLW. Genetic? Any ideas?
     
  6. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    That is wild. I have never seen that before.
     
  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,361
    159
    446
    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Hatch out her eggs.

    You may have a new breed of silkie!

    If the chicks come out that way... I could help with a breeding program. [​IMG]
     
  8. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,277
    45
    193
    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    Quote:I think I have some of hers growing up right now. Lisa (xxxmrsbellxxx) may have some too. If, 9 months down the road the feathers start getting funky, we may be onto something.

    I am thinking now, it might have been a diet deficiency at the time her feathers were developing, leaving a weak point that broke off later. Kind of like ridges in horse hooves, or, fingernails. Maybe they found something around the yard that was toxic, but didn't show any symptoms at the time.[​IMG]
     
  9. CloudCat

    CloudCat Out Of The Brooder

    34
    0
    32
    Mar 22, 2009
    I hade a black silky once that once lost a lot of feathers but once I started treating my flock for lice she looks better than ever.
     
  10. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,277
    45
    193
    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    Quote:If, the feathers were actually missing, I would suspect lice, or, mites. What's the weird thing here is the feathers are thick and full, just broken off at the ends. It's hard to seperate her feathers to get down to her skin, they are so thick. I have looked them all over at night with a flashlight and found no signs of bugs. No lice egg clusters, or signs irritation either. I guess we'll have to wait for her to molt and get some new feathers someday and see if it is a permenant condition.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by