Question about the feather health of two of my hens

Rsulrich

In the Brooder
Apr 29, 2020
8
11
18
Hello BYC members. This has been an incredibly valuable resource for me for the past year and a half as I have began raising chickens, so thank you. I now have a couple questions myself about two of my hens.

I do not have a rooster.

First, I have a 1.5 year old golden laced wynadotte that appears to have a bit of a red bottom. You can't really notice it unless she is foraging with her bottom in the air, or if she is walking up the ramp into the coop. Should I be worried about this? What could it be a sign of? I have 10 hens, and none of the others appear to have this issue.

Second, I have a 1.5 year old Plymouth Rock. I check on them everyday, usually a few times, and I have noticed she looks a bit ragged. Some of her feathers, in random places, appear to be poking out in random directions, and she doesnt appear to have the pronounced tail feathers that my other hens have or that she had once had. There are no bare or bald spots from what I can tell. I have found a feather here or there on the ground or in a nesting box, but nothing that makes you take note.

Any ideas on what could be bothering these two?

Thanks.
 

coach723

Free Ranging
Feb 12, 2015
5,830
9,928
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North Florida
Pictures would be helpful.
Hard to say about the vent without seeing. For the other, is she molting? Possible at 1.5 years old, would explain the loss of tail feathers and maybe why some look wonky. Often molt is very gradual and you won't see big bare spots. Other times it can be worse looking. Pin feathers coming in anywhere would confirm molt.
 

Rsulrich

In the Brooder
Apr 29, 2020
8
11
18
Hey friends. Following up here with some pictures as my Plymouth Rock that we thought might me molting (I believed that is what it was based upon her look and compared to pictures of other hens molting).

today I have a new concern. That she might be being “picked on” literally. I never noticed any bald or red spots on her, but today I came home from work and checked on the birds and her bottoms was bloody and it looked very “picked at”? I know chickens can do that. The good news is, that within my 24x10 run, I have my old coop, where she and her 4 sisters lived before I built a bigger one, and she has been moved to quarantine there to heal.


I just want to make sure it isn’t something more severe though, so I snapped some photos and attach them here. She always wanted to face the camera to they aren’t the best shots. Ignore my bunny who took up residence in the old coop!
 

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EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
Apr 9, 2016
13,734
18,325
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California's Redwood Coast
I just want to make sure it isn’t something more severe though,
1.5 year old golden laced wynadotte that appears to have a bit of a red bottom. You can't really notice it unless she is foraging with her bottom in the air,
She may be molting, she is the right age.. but that doesn't really cause angry red skin.. that's more a symptom of mites or lice type stuff.

That does look a lot like hamburger though on the Rock.. does she free range at all.. and maybe narrowly escaped a predator attack? Or were they confined to their coop/run?

Can you use a flashlight after dark and inspect. Keep it dark and shine a light just below the vent and on the abdomen.. parting the feathers and looking for crawlies running away. This is the easiest way to see them. Noting some don't live on the birds and only come out to feed on them. Be careful while handling if there are pin feathers coming in as they can be quite painful to the bird.

What little I can see, that looks like a fantastic set up. Is she still laying? Or do you know when her last egg was? Also, what's your regular feed including treats and supplements? Have you ever wormed your birds, or considered taking a poo sample to vet to check for internal parasite load?

Hope she recovers quickly! :fl
 

Rsulrich

In the Brooder
Apr 29, 2020
8
11
18
She may be molting, she is the right age.. but that doesn't really cause angry red skin.. that's more a symptom of mites or lice type stuff.

That does look a lot like hamburger though on the Rock.. does she free range at all.. and maybe narrowly escaped a predator attack? Or were they confined to their coop/run?

Can you use a flashlight after dark and inspect. Keep it dark and shine a light just below the vent and on the abdomen.. parting the feathers and looking for crawlies running away. This is the easiest way to see them. Noting some don't live on the birds and only come out to feed on them. Be careful while handling if there are pin feathers coming in as they can be quite painful to the bird.

What little I can see, that looks like a fantastic set up. Is she still laying? Or do you know when her last egg was? Also, what's your regular feed including treats and supplements? Have you ever wormed your birds, or considered taking a poo sample to vet to check for internal parasite load?

Hope she recovers quickly! :fl
thanks for the reply. I have 10 birds. 5 that are 1.5 and 5 that are 6 mos. 7 are laying. Now that she is quarantined I should be able to see if she is laying.

in the meantime, this hen was looking shaggy for a few days or maybe even two weeks now. This trauma is NEW/fresh. This isn’t/wasn’t gradual at all.

my birds do not free range. They are in 240 sq ft run all day, and they all go into their enclosed coop at night. This can almost certainly NOT be from a predator, as. I have built this as the Fort Knox of chicken coops. I have attached some pictures.

the run is 24x10. Hardware cloth on the bottom half, chicken wire on top half. Welded wire underneath about 6 inches of hardwood wood chips on the interior, and a welded wire predator screen on the outside. There is a metal roof as well.

night they are in that coop that is elevated and also completely enclosed within the run.
I have a solar powered door. I recently added a light into coop to help stimulate the laying as it cools down.

One thought though. Due to it being overcast out now, and the days getting shorter, that coop door does not open for what seems like forever in the morning. Add the light which goes on at like 4:30 am and they are all “cooped up” in there for a long while now!

Also, come to think of it. When I had just the 5 birds, they all roosted on the same roost and all seemed to get along great. When I added the 5 babies, I had to build a larger coop, this one has 3 roosting poles. But this hen did NOT roost with the other 4. In fact, she roosted over the babies and would not let them on the roosts at all. Now I wonder if she was doing that because she was last in the original pecking order? And was trying to assert some dominance where she could? I don’t know who is the alpha hen in my flock, as my original alpha hen was killed by an owl before I got my roof on last October. Maybe she was getting picked at by the other hens, I did find some blood spotting beneath the area where she tends to roost.

more pics attached.
 

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Rsulrich

In the Brooder
Apr 29, 2020
8
11
18
And as far as food goes. They have always been on Purina Layena pellets with oyster shell. They get their metalworm and dried big mix once a day, and I have 5 kids, so plenty of stuff gets put in the slop bucket every day. Stuff like Fruits, breads, some veggies noodles and some meat scraps
 

WindingRoad

Songster
Nov 21, 2018
1,348
2,432
243
Maine
Hello BYC members. This has been an incredibly valuable resource for me for the past year and a half as I have began raising chickens, so thank you. I now have a couple questions myself about two of my hens.

I do not have a rooster.

First, I have a 1.5 year old golden laced wynadotte that appears to have a bit of a red bottom. You can't really notice it unless she is foraging with her bottom in the air, or if she is walking up the ramp into the coop. Should I be worried about this? What could it be a sign of? I have 10 hens, and none of the others appear to have this issue.

Second, I have a 1.5 year old Plymouth Rock. I check on them everyday, usually a few times, and I have noticed she looks a bit ragged. Some of her feathers, in random places, appear to be poking out in random directions, and she doesnt appear to have the pronounced tail feathers that my other hens have or that she had once had. There are no bare or bald spots from what I can tell. I have found a feather here or there on the ground or in a nesting box, but nothing that makes you take note.

Any ideas on what could be bothering these two?

Thanks.
Sounds like molting to me. Normal process.
 

WindingRoad

Songster
Nov 21, 2018
1,348
2,432
243
Maine
Hey friends. Following up here with some pictures as my Plymouth Rock that we thought might me molting (I believed that is what it was based upon her look and compared to pictures of other hens molting).

today I have a new concern. That she might be being “picked on” literally. I never noticed any bald or red spots on her, but today I came home from work and checked on the birds and her bottoms was bloody and it looked very “picked at”? I know chickens can do that. The good news is, that within my 24x10 run, I have my old coop, where she and her 4 sisters lived before I built a bigger one, and she has been moved to quarantine there to heal.


I just want to make sure it isn’t something more severe though, so I snapped some photos and attach them here. She always wanted to face the camera to they aren’t the best shots. Ignore my bunny who took up residence in the old coop!
I have a BR with a red tail like that and no feathers. Got her like that last September. I just though she was molting then. She's gone all the year like that until just recently. She's molting bad this year. Bedraggled. I noticed her very red tail late this summer. I thought about it and I think she got sunburnt this summer. Now she is growing in new feathers around her shoulders and lower neck. And now I notice feathers on her tail.
 

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