Partridge Rock Feathers Turning White & Twisted

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LuckyBRanch, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. LuckyBRanch

    LuckyBRanch New Egg

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    This Partridge Rock is one of several PR girls about 21 months old, however she is the only one who seems to have gone haywire. (I have several other breeds and mixed girls as well.) She is growing white feathers and all of them look twisted and shortened. Any ideas what might be going on with her? Thanks.
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    That is interesting. I take it her feathers were normal before? Did she just come out of a molt? Have you wormed them recently using something with Fenbendazole, they say that can cause feathers to grow back odd.
     
  3. LuckyBRanch

    LuckyBRanch New Egg

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    Her feathers were normal before. She hasn't come out of a molt - at least not a major molt, and I have not wormed anyone for some time now. She eats and drinks fine but something is definitely out of whack.
     
  4. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    Hmm!! I have a few thoughts but I don't want to give you bad information. Is there any way you can get a close-up photo of her feathers, especially the weird, new ones? Do they seem brittle or easier to break than a normal feather (you can feel the feathers on one of your other birds to compare). Are there any bands growing through the feathers, like these:
    http://www.birdsupplies.com/product_images/uploaded_images/stress-bar1.jpg
    http://www.themodernapprentice.com/hungertrace_kestrel.jpg
    (photos not mine). They might look slightly transparent and can be small-- look closely.

    Feathers, like our hair, are essentially a history of health, diet, stress, disease... etc. When there is a problem with the feathers, it usually indicates a deeper problem with health, as you are guessing!

    Sorry if this is a bit gross, but if you can, observe her droppings, too. Do they seem well formed, good color, in general?
     
  5. LuckyBRanch

    LuckyBRanch New Egg

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    I don't believe her feathers seem brittle or easier to break although I did not pull hard. I also did not observe the bands as shown in the examples you included, however, she was most unhappy with me handling her and trying to get additional pics. Having said that, when I pulled her wing out, the new feathers are smaller and definitely not formed well. Unfortunately I was not able to observe her personal droppings for any possible insight there. I'll try again tomorrow. Is there anything you would suggest I try for her at this point in time. And thanks so much for taking the time to review this for me. None of my other 50+ have shown this issue.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  6. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    I have not come across this type of feather change in chickens, only in parrots. In parrots, problems like this often indicate Parrot Beak and Feather Disease, which is not zoonotic to chickens so it is not the case. Other reasons for feather discoloration and poor structure include liver or kidney problems, medication, malnutrition, and over-abundance of certain vitamin supplements. Since you are seeing this only in one chicken in your flock of 50+ I don't have a good reason to suspect that she's been getting too much of any particular vitamin. Typically, malnutrition problems manifest in brittle feathers, or feathers with stress bars, etc. Her feathers are not well formed but seem okay otherwise. A bit puzzling!!

    I do know that Vitamin D3 deficiency can cause feather issues. As I assume that she is getting the same feed as the rest of your healthy flock, perhaps there is something going on in her body that is preventing the uptake/absorption of this important vitamin. Do you know if she has started laying yet? D3 usually shows as other symptoms as well, and if she seems otherwise healthy, I am not really sure if it would be a D3 deficiency. I've also read that this tends to darken feathers, not lighten them. Still, it is worth me mentioning, just in case.
    http://www.poultrynews.com/New/Diseases/Merks/207019.htm

    Pantothenic Acid deficiency can also cause ruffled, unusual feathering in chicks, but I think you might have seen this before her 21 weeks along with other signs! Maybe not? I am not an expert. It might be worth exploring. http://www.poultrynews.com/New/Diseases/Merks/207025.htm

    Folic Acid deficiency shows up as poor feather condition and depigmentation (white, usually). The feathers usually become brittle though. Still, it is something to consider!
    More info:http://www.poultrynews.com/New/Diseases/Merks/207028.htm


    There are other sources of info online too, if you google "____ deficiency chickens" you will get results.


    Maybe it's none of these.. or even a combo of more than one. She may be having trouble absorbing vital vitamins from her diet for whatever reason-- much like people with osteoporosis that can eat calcium until the cows come home and not benefit from it, she might be eating the vitamins she needs, but cannot absorb them.

    I regret that I don't know the best course of action to help her, since a blood test might be out of the question for you? You can attempt to supplement her, or just observe her general health and see if she does well despite the strange feathering. I'd just be cautious though, as strange feathering is usually (not always, but often) a sign of other health problems.
     
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  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I agree with Nambroth- I'd consider vitamin deficiency and try supplementing her (there are many many vitamin deficiecies these days even with feed that is supposed to have the vitamins in it).
     
  8. LuckyBRanch

    LuckyBRanch New Egg

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    Sorry I took so long to get back to this. We had someone forge checks on our account and it's been 'fun' working through that. My girl is pretty much the same. I did observe her droppings and they appear normal. Now, what would you recommend I use to supplement her? Again, I appreciate your thoughts and insight.
     

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