1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Odd feather issue **heavy pics***

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Wynette, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    25,559
    65
    411
    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    My 12-week old black Ameraucana cockerel, Pete, has a weird feather issue going on. I searched for hours yesterday on BYC on on the 'net and just couldn't find anything - but, I also wasn't sure what to call it!

    The feathers around his neck appear to not be popping out of the protective shaft they grow from. And, it looks like they are actually breaking off at the end of the shaft part. It's apparently itchy for him, becuase he's picked a bunch out (we've watched him fusshing with them) and now has a bald spot on his neck. I noticed it for the first time Tuesday, tried to figure out what it was yesterday, and since I couldn't find anything online, thought I'd best as you folks for help.

    He's eating and drinking fine, and is in with 2 other chicks who do not have an issue. They're on Dumor chick grower and I also have them on AV2000 in their water. They are in a large pen in my barn (no access to outdoors yet). I checked thoroughly for mites/fleas, and found none. They do not have access to other animals that could have mites. Here are pics:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. jeaucamom

    jeaucamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2007
    Ophir, CA
    They do go through a juvenile molt at about 4 months. It will be interesting to see what more experienced folks come up with though. Good luck!!
     
  3. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    The feathers look normal, but if he is eating them he could need more protein. Add some turkey starter to his diet or dry cat food. Scratching and feather pulling can also be a sign of lice so dust him with Rotenone or DE to be sure. The boys are not as good about dust bathing so you more often have to help them out.
     
  4. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    25,559
    65
    411
    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    LICE? EEK! I did a thorough check last night (flipped him onto his back on my lap, and looked at his skin in several places, and along feather shafts and all). Wouldn't I have seen lice if he had them? Wouldn't the others have it, too? They're not exposed to any other animals...protein...interesting. I'd think the chick grower would have all they need, but I'll offer some dry cat food (I buy Iams and it's pretty small pieces, but I'll crunch it up a bit first just in case). Is it okay for the other 2 to get extra protein if they don't need it? Should I be separating him?

    Oh, I do have DE, so will dust them all tonight. THANKS so much for the suggestion - can't hurt them to get them going now with DE dusting! Sorry to ask so many questions, but as I said, I couldn't find anything when searching here on online. THANKS!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2008
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    46
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Chickens are omnivores. Without animal protein in the feeds there isn't complete long chain aminoacids. I find it a disservice to not offer chickens a form of insect/bug/animal protein to make their diet complete. I have found they are really more robust and have less problems with more animal proteins in their diets. You can even give him a scrambled or boiled egg every day or every other day. You might get a few runny poops from loading his diet so you can start slow and see if that doesn't improve his feather condition.
     
  6. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    You can also try black oil sunflower seeds. They are 30% protein and have the methione in them that is required for feather growth.
     
  7. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    25,559
    65
    411
    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    Out of curiosity, I'm going to check the bag of feed tonight. Thanks so much for the suggestions and the information. They do get treats, but mostly just bits of veggies and fruits, and oatmeal thus far. I'll slowly add eggs and offer the cat food; I also have sea kelp - would that be a good addition to some eggs or oatmeal?

    Thanks so much; this is why I joined this forum. So much excellent advice & feedback, and not a day goes by that I don't learn something new.

    I wish I could run home now & get going with a new regime for them!

    Again, thanks so much, everyone! I'll put this new information from all of you into action tonight! [​IMG]
     
  8. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    25,559
    65
    411
    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    BOSS? My adults get it, but I just assumed these guys were too little. I'll try a bit tonight.

    Should I be adding grit? I haven't offered any grit yet, because it's been mostly soft treats I've been giving them. But, if I add BOSS, shouldn't I be giving them a way to grind it up?

    Thanks, Farmer Kitty, Miss Prissy, adoptedbyachicken, and jeaucamom!!!
     
  9. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    It never hurts to offer free choice grit if you're offering anything other than their regular feed. I do believe that there is a real fine grit for younger birds. Maybe someone will chime in who knows.
     
  10. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    If you offer them a choice of size they will take the right stuff. I buy the good grit and my chickens go out to the driveway where we had a sink hole years ago and pick up their own choice from the truckload of 3/4 minus that the contractor brought in to fill the hole..... go figure, so just find some driveway gravel source and get a bucket full, leave them to decide. Way cheeper. The store bought stuff is good to have in the barn for the winter when my driveway ex-hole is too far away, and frozen solid.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by