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Rooster losing feathers from cape and tail

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hotspur, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. hotspur

    hotspur In the Brooder

    Sep 22, 2008
    Experienced advice, please.

    Over a few weeks, our beautiful rooster of about three years age has suddenly lost a lot of feathers from his cape and tail - a lot. Steadily at first, and more suddenly in the last few days.

    The losses started slowly a few months ago, when we noticed his previously glorious golden cape had lost a few feathers (hackles) at its rear.
    A few weeks ago, we started noticing medium-length tail feathers - not only in the yard where he roams free daytime, but also on the floor of the coop where he his caged at night. At the same time we noticed an accumulations of a lot of fluffier shorter feathers including hackles from his cape inside the coop, mostly towards one corner of the coop.

    Suddenly a couple of days ago we noticed he had suddenly lost all except one of his medium and long tail feathers (sickles, and shorter sickles), and he had lost so many of the hackles at the rear of his cape that we can now see almost through the affected section of the cape to his neck.
    I am now pretty sure something is wrong somehow. See the following two photos.


    All three hens with whom he shares the coop look just fine - that is with their feathers intact. The coop looks tight - and we do not think any predator can be getting into it.
    Apart from the loss of feathers, he appears about as bright and perky as ever.
    However, he looks a sorry sight in comparison with his recent glory - see the following two photos.


    Regarding other health problems. He had scaly leg mite a few months ago - which we eradicated with several applications (at two week intervals) to his legs of either vaseline or mineral oil (baby oil) several months ago. The scales of his legs have almost recovered now.
    Other than that, the only thing that seemed noteworthy was that while I was applying the vaseline/oil, I noticed the skin on his rump and deep under his wings (his armpits, so to speak) was bald and bright red - and for some way from his rump towards his legs the feathers were worn so that only the shafts remained (undoubtedly mechanical damage due to frequent coupling with the hens).

  2. ninjascrub69

    ninjascrub69 Songster

    Aug 13, 2010
    Bloomingdale, MI
    could he be moulting?
  3. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Songster

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    Sound like molting to me. 'tis the season...

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