Please help me diagnose an issue with an EE, thought it was just a molt...

DrBee

In the Brooder
Oct 5, 2016
8
18
41
TX
I have a 2.5 yr old Easter Egger. three months ago I noticed she was missing some neck feathers. I thought perhaps she got into a tiff. More neck feathers disappeared and her body feathers started becoming sparse. I thought it was just a molt. However, no new feathers appeared. On closer inspection, I see the feathers appear to be broken off. See the photo. Yesterday I watched as she poked herself to the side of her vent, and as she did, some nearly clear liquid squirted out (maybe slightly white). I poked her vent myself. It wasn't red, or scabby. It didn't smell. I also checked under her wings for parasites, and didn't see any.
She appears otherwise healthy, is eating, running around, dust bathing as normal.
 

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DrBee

In the Brooder
Oct 5, 2016
8
18
41
TX
No rooster. I checked for notes and lice and didn’t find any.
 

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coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,447
10,815
611
North Florida
Then likely she's being feather picked by others. Sometimes in the absence of a rooster a dominant hen will do mounting behavior. It could be happening on the roosts at night when they go in and wrestle for roosting space. I would try to do some observing to see if you can figure out who. She may be low in the pecking order. How much roost space do you have for how many birds? Soemtimes redoing a roosting set up can help, different spacing and different levels, some people put dividers on their roosts for a bit of separation which can help in some cases. She also looks a bit thin to me, but that is very hard to tell through feathers in a picture. I wonder if she's being kept from feed, which could impact her feather quality. I would get a weight on her and monitor to make sure she's taking in enough. Below are a couple of body condition charts that are good for a quick check, but breeds can differ, some are more full breasted than others. My EE's tend to be on the leaner side and are healthy.
Poultry keel bone schematic for bcs.jpg
Poultry keel bone schematic for bcs.jpg

LL.jpg
 

coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,447
10,815
611
North Florida
Last thought, have you ever wormed your birds or had a fecal test done? If she is underweight and is having runny droppings then getting a fecal done would rule internal parasites in or out as an issue, which could cause both of those things.
 

DrBee

In the Brooder
Oct 5, 2016
8
18
41
TX
What a great resource! Thank you for sharing this. She is lean, but always has been. I was wondering about an internal parasite, just because the quality of her feathers seems poor. Like they are dry, or hollow, perhaps. I have not wormed them. I have 17 and she is the only one who seems to have this happening. They free range all day, and also have access to grain all day inside their coop. I observed her eating untroubled by others. When i close them up and night, I sit outside for a while and its really rare that I hear any fussing on the roosts.
She does like to frequent an old dead stump at the back of our property and might have picked up something in there the others were not exposed to. She is after the brief liquid squirts yesterday, she did emit a large and very runny poop on my patio table right in front of me. (Nice! It does seem that they try to alert me when something is wrong). I looked for evidence of parasites, and didn't see any, but wasn't really sure what I would be looking for. How do I go about getting a fecal test? Do I send a sample to my county extension office? Or?
 

UrbanFarmAurora

In the Brooder
May 3, 2020
16
48
33
Oddly, I have the same exact problem with my 6 week EE. Same exact spot, missing feathers and rough thick scaly skin underneath. No sign or parasites. No sign of discontent in the coop. Only difference she’s plump 😂
 

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