Rhodebar losing feathers, skin irritation

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by justinf, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. justinf

    justinf New Egg

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    Jan 3, 2017
    Hi all, absolute chicken newbie here. Very grateful for the resource. I have a small flock of 7 pullets, and one of my Rhodebars seems to have some issues with losing feathers and a skin irritation. She is smaller than the rest and I'm not sure if this is self-inflicted irritation, if the others are pecking at her, or if it's some other type of malady. Here are a couple pics--any feedback greatly appreciated!

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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    More than likely, she is being feather pecked by the hens higher in the pecking order. But look her over for tiny bugs that could be lice or mites. You might try making her a hen apron out of a 7x9 inch piece of polar fleece. Cut 2 slits, about 2 inches or less, for the wings, but not too big or it will fall off. Slip it over the wings to fit nest to skin of back. Then trim the extra material to fit. The other chickens will freak out when they first see it, but quickly get used to it. Commercial aprons are also available. Watch their behavior by sitting with them to see who is the bully. Make sure they get outside to roam so they don't get bored, and that they are getting a 20% protein feed, and that they are not overcrowded. Here is a link for hen aprons for sale and som images of homemade ones: http://www.hensaver.com/


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  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    You already got great info...

    What size is your coop? How much roost space? How much outdoor space? Is she laying for you? How old of pullets? What do you feed including treats? Do you free range?

    Using a higher protein feed (than layer) will help the feathers grow back in since they are 90% protein. I don't know if those will grow back before molt... and if they do it wouldn't surprise me if she quits laying during that time in order to focus they energy into recovery.

    For it to be that bad on only one hen.... probably pecking, I think more than bugs... hard to say for sure though. As bugs or parasite load are always a possibility. Poor girl. [​IMG]
     
  4. justinf

    justinf New Egg

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    Jan 3, 2017
    Hi and thank you! I'll check out the apron and try it. The girls are all about 14 weeks old, not laying yet.

    Our coop is 5x10. We have a roost section that's probably 2x5 set of bars--they all seem comfortable up there. There is an equal-sized laying area with 4 boxes that right now I have blocked off because they were pooping in it like crazy. Trying to train them to not do that!


    We have a fenced yard of about 1/3 acre, in an urban setting. We try and free range them about 30 min daily, so not very much honestly.

    We have been using this food since we got them: http://www.newcountryorganics.com/s...er-broiler-feed/grower-broiler-50-pounds.html

    About a cup of that daily per bird, plus various fruit and veggie scraps from our kitchen as treats/supplement.

    We have 2 Rhodebars, 2 Isbars, 2 Orpingtons and 1 Black Copper Maran. All seem happy except this one poor Rhodebar. She's a little smaller than the rest and seems to get bumped around a bit.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Keep an eye on the marans--mine are pretty bossy. Getting them outside more can help. They will usually come in at dusk to roost, so letting out for few hours in late afternoon would be good. Mine come out first thing in the morning, and stay out all day, coming and going as they please. I don't know your situation, since they can jump fences in neighborhoods, and hawks or other predators may be a problem, but they love getting outside.
     
  6. justinf

    justinf New Egg

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    That's my main concern with free range is that we do have hawks, owls, raccoons and foxes in the woods behind the house. So, right now we have only been doing supervised ranging. But we will work on some increased free time. Thank you for the tips!
     
  7. justinf

    justinf New Egg

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    Jan 3, 2017
    I also saw the other Rhodebar picking at her today. Hmm. As my friend said yesterday, I suppose there has to be a pecking order...
     
  8. justinf

    justinf New Egg

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    Jan 3, 2017
    One more thing, this little Rhodebar seems to fall over from time to time, like her left leg collapses underneath her to the inside. Pitiful little thing.
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    You might want to try some vitamins in their water that contain thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin E. Check to see if your feed is fresh dated, as vitamins can leech out if the feed has been on the shelf or in use for months. Do her legs look straight and pointed forward when she stands? If she is low in the pecking order she may be kept from her food, or may have suffered an injury.
     
  10. justinf

    justinf New Egg

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    Well, things have taken a sharp turn for the worse. . . I isolated her last night in a crate with food and water. This morning she can't stand at all, seemingly can't even lift her head to eat or drink. She's just closing her eyes and lying there limp. I'm afraid this little lady may not be not long for this world.
     

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