Reduced appetite; losing feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Black Jaque, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Black Jaque

    Black Jaque Out Of The Brooder

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    This is my first winter with hens. I've noticed they don't eat their feed as much but I am not sure if this is because their laying has decreased (although cold temps should bring an increase in appetite). Now I see some have patches of missing feathers around head, neck, and tail.

    Is this normal molting? Just coincident with the appetite loss? Or should I be giving them Valbazen?
     
  2. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    Could they be molting???
     
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Some of mine are still molting - which scares me since it's been so cold here lately. I can't say I've noticed a difference in their appetites. Do you have other reasons to suspect worms?
     
  4. Lovin Chix Lady

    Lovin Chix Lady New Egg

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    I am in new coop for this year with new group of chickens. A weasel killed all of my favorite chickens a couple of years ago....very sad. I have two hens that are missing some feathers around their neck and one of the two also has missing areas on her chest and her rear. No mites or any health issues noted. I do have a Pekin Duck in with them that acts as their father and he does chase them around. I have noted that he chases the one with most missing feathers around the pen. Any ideas? My other chickens never molted in winter. They do continue to eat well and lay eggs.
     
  5. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    [​IMG] The Duck could be pulling the feathers out. She isn't molting is she???
     
  6. Black Jaque

    Black Jaque Out Of The Brooder

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    Willowbranch,

    They are about 9 months old and haven't molted yet - I have no idea how to tell whether they are molting or losing feathers from health or behavior problems. Again I'm not much smarter than my chickens when it comes to knowing things about chickens.
     
  7. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  8. Black Jaque

    Black Jaque Out Of The Brooder

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    Willowbranch

    No. My chickens don't look as severe as the pictures in your article - maybe more like the soft molt. But what of the loss of appetite? Just coincidental?

    Redsox - no I have no other reasons to suspect worms. Not that I know what symptoms too look for though.

    I just took a closer look. It appears that my Penedesenca and Ameraucana are the ones that are losing feathers. They don't have bare spots just areas where there are only pinfeathers. The two Wyandottes and the Chantecler look to be just fine.
     
  9. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

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    What are you feeding them? Are there any spots in the pen where predators (coons for example) could reach through and pluck a few out?

    Whenever my birds were stressed (i.e. shows, being chased) they would have a reduced appetite.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  10. Black Jaque

    Black Jaque Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm feeding layer pellets and kitchen scraps. Predators shouldn't be a problem. No tracks in the snow to suggest that. I do have a dog but he doesn't seem to chase them any more than he did all summer.

    They live in a tractor which has not moved since winter began. They don't seem to like snow - could that stress them?
     

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