Not sure if molting or has mites?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jengrinager, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. jengrinager

    jengrinager Just Hatched

    Sep 22, 2016
    One of my chickens is losing feathers around her neck. She is a Dark Brahma and is 10 months old. She started laying early at just a few days past 5 months and I have heard that early layers sometimes molt early. These are my first chickens so I'm not familiar with molting or really anything yet. She doesn't behave as if she is ill and the other chickens (a total of 4) are not showing any of the same symptoms. We have been getting a lot of rain lately and at first I thought she had gotten her feather wet, but now I'm realizing that they are really thinned out. They have plenty of dry places to be, so she is able to get out of the damp. How do you know if they are molting or have a parasite of some kind?
  2. LittlePip21

    LittlePip21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2017
    If you part the feathers until you can see the skin, and if there are parasites you will see little white dots all clumped at the base of the feathers, or even in strings along it. hope this helps! [​IMG]
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    sounds like a molt to me. They truly look dreadful, but they don't act like they are dying. Check for parasites, but I think it sounds like molt.

    Mrs K
    1 person likes this.
  4. LittlePip21

    LittlePip21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2017
    Yes, i thought so too, hope it is just molting, parasites are a pain to kick!
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Sounds like a molt...had several pullets go thru molts this winter.
    Have you checked them over real well for mites and/or lice?
    Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.
    Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).
    Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.
    Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

    If you do find some...check out this thread:

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