Poorly chicken, missing feathers at back end and loosing weight

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mrswack, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. mrswack

    mrswack New Egg

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    May 31, 2007
    Hi all,

    I really hope someone can help, I noticed one of the previously top girls has suddenlt become really scared and timid, has lost weight and all the feathers around her bottom are missing leaving a big bald patch around her bum. I haven't seen her being pecked but this could be a possibility as they roam around the garden and I can't keep track as the run off next door too! She does sometimes just hide under bushes on her own too which is so unlike her.

    Can anyone please help poor Vivien?

    Thank you in advance

    Paula
     
  2. juliawitt

    juliawitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 9, 2009
    One of my top layers has picked January to molt also.....go figure. She looks much lighter because she is losing feathers "everywhere". My husband joked the other day that his chicken is "falling apart!!" She is eating well, and appears perky, just very bare. Still out in the yard and at night, the other girls are roosting right next to her, so I think she is staying warm....but that bare bottom is sad to see!!! I am giving her some extra protein in hopes to help speed up the process. She still layed an egg the other day. So, don't worry, chickens are like people, they do what they want even when it may not be the best thing for them to do. I asked her why she would molt now and she just gave me the stink eye!

    Forgot to add that she is also acting a little flighty....my guess is she is hiding and acting nervous because she looks really ugly around all the beautiful girls. I try to hide when I have a bad hair day...........
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  3. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Virginia
    Molting was my thought, too. Their personalities do change dramatically when they molt. They seem "off".

    Now just in case, go ahead and check her for mites. Pick her up and look at her bare bottom. Lift her wings and look underneath. Look really close. I've also heard that some mites only get on chickens at night. I don't know anything about that, but I've read that folks check the birds on the roost with a flashlight. So if you're really worried, you can try that too. Just for peace of mind.

    But she's probably molting.
     
  4. Barnyard

    Barnyard Addicted to Quack

    Aug 5, 2007
    Southwest Georgia
    Although molting is a possibility, I would really watch this girl. As the poster above stated. Check her for mites.....around her butt, under her wings. I just don't think if it was something as simple as molting that she would be hiding, even if she is having a "bad hair day". My girls never hide. They may slack off on eating a little, but I would never know they were molting until I saw the feather loss. I am no expert, but I am leaning towards mites or worms, something to that affect. Is there any other signs of illness? Runny nose, sneezing, coughing, runny eye's...ect?? What does her poop look like? Could be something simple like a vitamin defecency(sp).. I hope your girl gets better.



    ETA: It is also possible that she is getting picked on by the others....that would explain the hiding and feather loss. Try to keep a closer eye on that. If that is actually the case then she needs to be seperated until you can figure out "why" she is being picked on. Chickens can really do damage to each other.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  5. mrswack

    mrswack New Egg

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    May 31, 2007
    I'm not convinced it's maulting. She is the only one out of 12 that is like this and I don't know her poo as it's difficult to spot, though I will have to try to check it out...what would I be looking for?

    What are other signs I should be looking out for? I've never had a poorly chicken before, though the bald patch is quite large, like satsuma size and doesn't seem to be anywhere else on her body...

    I know it's probably a big ask but does anyone know a good link for information on what to keep an eye out for?

    I would appreciate it massively...not as much as she would though! (not sure if it has anything to do with it but we had some really, really cold weather and snow for a while, that wouldn't have done anything would it?)

    Thanks again
     
  6. Barnyard

    Barnyard Addicted to Quack

    Aug 5, 2007
    Southwest Georgia
    I wouldn't think the cold would affect her butt. Her comb and wattles, maybe.

    I would just keep a close eye on her. Watch for sneezing, coughing, labored breathing, rattling when she breaths, any drainage from nose, mouth, eyes, runny poop, worms in her poop, blood in her poop. Although you may have to seperate her for a little while to make sure it is her poop you are looking at. Remember to check for mites...(little tiny bugs that will be crawling on her)..under her wings, and around her butt. Look for their nest, which sometimes look like little balls of dried poop.
    If it is actually a pecking problem then she may be at the bottom of the pecking order and they are keeping her away from the fed, that could contribute to the weight lose also.

    I will look around BYC and see what other info I can find for you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  7. mrswack

    mrswack New Egg

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    May 31, 2007
    Thank you so much for your help.

    A quick one on the poop...there always seems to be some runny poop/semi runny poop about...is that bad?

    They have their layer pellets but tend to go crazy over scraps and the handful of corn I occassionally five them though we do not have enough scraps as a family to feed all 12 chickens...would they rather go without pellets completely?They spend the rest of the time scratching around the garden... should I stop with the scraps and is there anything I shouldn't give them as I do give them everything and the only thing they don't eat are baked beans and cabbage!!

    Thank you once again!
     
  8. Barnyard

    Barnyard Addicted to Quack

    Aug 5, 2007
    Southwest Georgia
    There is alway's going to be a runny, or watery poop every now and then and that is fine.

    I would offer them there regular diet (pellets) free choice. They need that. The scraps are good for them also. My chickens love the scraps that they get, but we don't have enough scraps to just feed that. There is a list here on byc of treats and what "not" to feed them. Give me just a sec....



    ETA: here is the link for the treats and what not to feed
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-Treats_Chart
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  9. Rocky Top Chick

    Rocky Top Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a lakenvelder that came out of a molt over the weekend. Her personality changed back to normal overnight. I could not believe it, but it is true..........................
     
  10. eggsited chickens

    eggsited chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a Rhode Island Red that is acting similar. She is thinner than the rest of my chickens. And she has pecked herself, or others pecked her, so bad that she was bleeding around her tail, and it looked like things were protruding out. She won't let me near her. I have tried blue kote and she goes crazy! Trying to clean herself, her beak is as blue as ever and she doesn't care. I don't know what else to do...I don't see any bugs either...but I can't get very close to her. Is it safe to powder her even if she doesn't have any mites/lice? How do i go about doing it. I have the garden and poultry dust with permitherin in it....It doesn't look like something I'd prefer using that is for sure.
     

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