pin feathers only on head?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by superchemicalgirl, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    Runty is my little phoenix hen that is on the bottom of the pecking list. She's so meek. She's about 6.5 months old.

    For the past month or so when I leave the house in the morning it's dark and when I get home from work it's dark. I count the chickens roosting then shut them up for the night after doing the chores. On rare days when I'm home I see the girls. Either way I haven't noticed anything awry in the past month except that Runty moved from her regular roost to the other side of the coop that has a roost that no one else uses. I figured she was just happy to be alone and not picked on at all at night, and doesn't appreciate when I put another chicken up there for company.

    I guess I'm a bad mom because I didn't notice until today (when I got home from work 30 minutes early and all the girls were still outside) that Runty is bald(ish) on her head. Even near her eyes and on her chin.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a picture of her from Thanksgiving and that's how she usually looks to me when I see her, all fluffed up and alone:
    [​IMG]

    I guess I should have noticed earlier that she's bald. How could I have missed this? I picked her up today and took a close look and it kinda looks like pin feathers but just on her head.

    I'm assuming another chicken pecked at Runty to cause this? Other thoughts that have crossed my mind but are less plausible: I do have a rooster but I've never seen him on Runty... but would he take all of her face feathers?? Is it possible she's molting but just in one spot??

    Here's another from Thanksgiving:
    [​IMG]

    Any thoughts on what this is and how to manage it?
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Those do look like whole pin feathers so I would not worry about her. If they were picked out, the others are probably bothering her, but they will grow in soon. Some birds do moult all the sudden. One day full of feathers, second day all pin feathers when the regular feathers fall off the tips of the pins. She probably has more on her body but they are better hidden. My rooster has this habit of moulting out his entire neck at once, and then proceeding to lower his head for the girls to eat them off the front of his neck, so he ends up with a cape of neck feathers and an UGLY neck. I gave up stopping the girls from picking on him, because he blatantly puts his head down to invite them to eat. He doesn't moult the rest of his feathers till usually 4-6 weeks later.
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    My little frizzle bantam looked like runty about 2 months ago, my big brahma roo was getting her and had every one of her feathers out of her head she was completely bald and bleeding, she wouldn't even come out of the coop she was so scared of him. Well he's now in the freezer and finally her feathers are growing back it's taken awhile because she molted in between. so could be the roo or maybe the hens you'll have to set some time out of your busy schedule to watch. Have you tried Bluekote to see if that stops what is happening to her?Also have heard that iodine will help too
     
  4. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    I do have Blue Kote here but I'd like to not stress Miss Runty out any more than I have to. I'm surprised she let me touch her this afternoon.

    Also I just ran out to the coop (it's snowing...again... YAY!) to check for lice/mites now that it's dark and she's been roosting about an hour and she didn't appear to have any; the skin was nice and tan colored. She did have some pin feathers in a couple other places but nothing like her head. Also a few feathers fell out while I was holding her.

    I'm guessing then she's molting? Holy moly she picked an awful time to molt.

    I will keep an eye out for pecking issues though...
     
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Mine molt like that all the time, just in spots.

    In fact this year is the first time to have a true molt in about 7 years.

    Imp
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    yep going to be down into low 20's here tonight and some of mine are still getting their feathers back in. Makes we want to knit sweathers , but I don't know how to knit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  7. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    I guess I thought she was too young to molt (figured it'd be next fall - she was born the middle of April) and it was the wrong time of year... she's apparently not the only chicken with bad timing!

    I've been wanting to knit my turkens a turtle neck (or even put a cut off sock around their neck) but now I'm going to have to knit Runty one of those black full face ski masks.

    ... yeah, I have no idea how to knit, either. Guess they'll have to figure out how to stay warm on their own.
     
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Hopefully they will huddle up but runty might need a buddy. A sock cut to fit a turkin would be cute and probally work. I would put a ski mask on runty though someone might suspect her as a robber.
     
  9. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    Molts are cause by two things, age when they get adult feathers then shorter daylight after the long summer days.....Using lights can mess up a natural molt. With racing pigeon we stop the birds molt by only letting them have 8 hours of light, so they are racing with full wings.
     
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They do tend to moult at the worst time. I had a near naked hen last year for the entire week of weather that was in the teens at night. She insisted on sleeping outside.
     

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