Something's wrong with my hen!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chicky Crazy, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. Chicky Crazy

    Chicky Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2013
    For last week my hen has been loosing a lot of feathers. Today Her head is bald and powdery.
    There's a raccoon that's been coming to the coop every night, (I know cause he leaves scat.) Could the raccoon be trying to get to her? He can't because we made the coop so he can't get in or hurt her. I noticed she has only been losing her feathers under the roost, where she would be at night.
    Or could my mean hen be picking on her? Even when she was young she would sleep outside while every one else slept in the coop. Or when she did sleep in the coop she would sleep on one roost while the others slept on a different roost. Annie is shy and gets scared when I hold her, but she will not hurt me, or protect herself.
    Or could it just be something simple like lice?
    Should I separate her from the others so they don't get sick or they don't hurt her?
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    The best thing I can say is to look at her feathers very closely, right down by the skin, to make sure she doesn't have mites or lice. That's always a good place to start.

    Then, if you don't see any, I'm wondering how old she is. If she was hatched in the spring of 2013, then she will soon experience her first molt. So that would be normal. Some chickens have a really hard molt and can look quite naked. Others have a more gradual molt, and it doesn't look quite so bad. Are you seeing alot of feathers lately?

    The skin doesn't look irritated or really red in the pic, which would make me think a hen is pecking her or pulling out her feathers.

    If the raccoon could get his paw in through the chicken wire, he would probably grab her head and kill her, so I don't think that's from a raccoon.
  3. Chicky Crazy

    Chicky Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2013
    She's two years old. Should I separate her from the others? She wont stand up for herself so they could kill her!
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  4. Chicky Crazy

    Chicky Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2013
    Anyone? I need to know! They could kill her!
  5. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Is she losing feathers anywhere else on her body? If so, then I think she's probably molting, which is common at this time of year in older hens. If not molting, it is probably because she is being picked on or because she has mites/lice.

    I'd check her for mites/lice, if you haven't already. Look closely at the skin/feathers on her head, beneath her neck feathers, under her wings, and near her vent for moving black or yellow specks (the mites or lice). If you see any, dust her with Sevin dust or poultry dust, or spray her with another mite/lice spray.

    As for whether she is being picked on, one way to tell is to observe your flock for an hour or two. Or, I suppose you could separate her for a few weeks and see if the feathers grow back because they aren't being pulled out any more.
  6. Chicky Crazy

    Chicky Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2013
    When I get the chance Ill check. How do I dust her? Ill ask my dad to butcher the mean hen this weekend since we're already going to, until then maybe I can put her the crate. Lucy the mean one would probably be the only one who would bully her.
  7. Chicky Crazy

    Chicky Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2013
    Im glad to say shes just molting!

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