Sick or Normal- TONS of feathers everywhere- Worried

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BabyGirls, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. BabyGirls

    BabyGirls Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2007
    Concord, NC
    Please help. I am newer to having my 9 girls and I can't find a vet that deals with chickens. I have a couple hens with problems (I think) and don't know if normal or not.

    My girls have been losing a lot of feathers. From light loss from back of neck, chest and top of shoulders all the way to full smooth skin from top of butt to belly. Is that normal right now?

    I have treated the coop and pen area 2 times now (with a lot of mite dust-enough for 200 chickens) and with Lyme all around the pen). They have 3 areas for dust baths too and take them. Still loosing a lot of feathers. I have also increased their protein intake (w/kitty food). They do pick at times at each other but not a lot. One week fine, fat, full feathers then all of a sudden tons of feathers gone, timid, look sick?

    Please HELP as I don't know what else to do. I don't know if they are sick or not?
     
  2. joebwe25

    joebwe25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are probably molting, losing feathers to grow new ones.
    Do you have a roo? It may be ripping them out, but it's probably the molt.
    Hope I can be of help to you!
    Joebwe25
     
  3. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm pretty sure it sounds like molting. I had a girl just drop half of her feathers the other night. You should see porcupine quills on the birds which indicates fresh, new feathers are on their way out. You may want to offer a little extra protein to help the plumage regrow faster and make sure there are no drafts on them at night until they get their pretty new feathers in.

    Jody
     
  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Normal...moulting...It looks like there's been an explosion at a pillow factory.
     
  5. Arklady

    Arklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not only are your birds moulting they are doing a hard moult which is what my birds did last year. They were pretty naked and looked pretty shabby. I kept up with my normal feeding and added a bit of turkerstarter ration towards the end of the moult to help them finish off. The entire process took like 8 weeks. A normal moult is some of the feathers comeing out and being rather spotty. But the winter that my birds did that it was really cold. I would check the weather forecast for your area for the coming months and see what they have to say about the temps for the next months.

    Arklady
     
  6. akcskye

    akcskye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My girls are molting right now, and honestly, if you didn't know better, you'd think they were sick or dying.

    This is the first time I've had chickens that went through molt that I was ever able to notice...and you'd think they had lice or some incureable disease.

    However, they're getting their "pin feathers" I think they're called...looks like feathers encased by plastic straws...and starting to look a little more filled out.
     
  7. BabyGirls

    BabyGirls Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2007
    Concord, NC
    Thank you so much for the replys. What kinds of Protein do you feed them?

    Most of the girls are now starting to have the pin feathers coming back in but 1 girl's bum is completely Smooth-like a waxing at the salon?

    Nothing starting on her at all for a couple months now? Any thoughts?
     
  8. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    We add either flockraiser for large fowl (pellets only) or gamebird flight conditioner (crumble) for smaller fowl right into their layer feed ration. Keep the mix going until the moult is finished or the girls are looking much prettier. This extra protein seems to be enough of a boost to get the plumage in faster.

    As for the bald bum, could be a bit of a mite/lice issue as well. Get some poultry dust or food grade DE and apply directly to the birds, especially around the vent area. That will ensure they are cleaned up from external bugs.

    Jody
     
  9. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    We toss out a few handfuls of dry cat food with the black oil sunflower seeds. Or I put out a couple cans of wet cat food. They love it and the cat food has high protein, too! I just don't get the chicken flavor!
     
  10. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
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