Strange feather loss, but no mites! Ideas?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sovia, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. sovia

    sovia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 4, 2008
    Black Hills of SD
    First, let me say that I am new to chickens so I am extremely inexperienced! About a month ago, I noticed that my roo was looking a little scruffy around his neck. Then, the area on his lower back started to look scruffy, too. I have examined him and can't find any mites or anything else unusual. Here are some pictures of Rico:

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    Now, several of my hens are also looking scruffy on their lower backs, too. I have examined them under the wings, around the vent, on their backs, etc., and can't find anything. If it wasn't for the roo looking bad, too, I would just think these hens were favored by the roo (there are 16 hens altogether.) Here is a picture of my silver wyandotte:

    [​IMG]

    So, does anyone have any ideas? Molting, maybe? [​IMG]I don't think it is cannibalism because I haven't seen blood anywhere. I would really appreciate your input.

    P.S. I also use DE everywhere inside the coop and in the sandy run. Their eyes appear to be clear and I haven't noticed any type of discharge
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  2. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    My guess would be molting.
     
  3. sovia

    sovia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 4, 2008
    Black Hills of SD
    I hope that it is only molting. Doesn't molting normally begin on the neck and then proceed to the rest of the body? The hens are only missing feathers on the rump area.
     
  4. sovia

    sovia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 4, 2008
    Black Hills of SD
    Any other thoughts? [​IMG] (I am giving my post a bump!) Seriously, I would REALLY appreciate it!
     
  5. needmorechickens!

    needmorechickens! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2008
    West TN
    I have never experienced that, but I would think molting as well. Hang in there! :aww
    ~Rebecca
     
  6. sovia

    sovia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 4, 2008
    Black Hills of SD
    The flock is only about 4-5 months old. Would they already be molting this fall or would they wait until the following fall?
     
  7. Barnyard

    Barnyard Addicted to Quack

    Aug 5, 2007
    Southwest Georgia
    Your's look like 2 of my girls and I believe they are molting. I have checked them over and there is no mites or anything.

    They will only look worse before the look better, trust me. Hang in there. It shouldn't last anymore than a couple of months.
     
  8. tfpets

    tfpets Mmm, tastes like chicken

    I think they are molting also, and by the look of the new feather growth, they are going to have splendid feathers coming back in! Give it time....If you are worried about an infestation without seeing anything obvious, just in case, put some poultry dust on them? Then youre covered no matter what? But I say molting. Does your coop area look like a feather pillow blew up around it? They can lose underfeathers like mad without obviously losing the clumps like you see also...thats how you get the feather pile ups...a good sign of molting too? Hope this helps.
    Tina/tfpets
     
  9. sovia

    sovia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 4, 2008
    Black Hills of SD
    Thanks for all your help!
     
  10. sovia

    sovia Chillin' With My Peeps

    174
    1
    131
    Mar 4, 2008
    Black Hills of SD
    I wanted to give everyone an update and hopefully ask for more advice. My roo, Rico, has gotten much worse. He is now nearly bald around his neck, and a few more of the hens are looking rough.

    I have spent the last few days observing the flock and have noticed that one of the California Whites is aggressively breaking and eating the feather tips off the other hens and especially the rooster. Now, tonight, I noticed one of my Easter Eggers is doing the same thing, but not quite as badly. I don't know what to do.

    They have a very large coop and run. I feed them Purina Layena free choice, offer oyster shell/grit, occasionally hang cabbage in the run, and offer vegetable/meat scraps from the kitchen. This past week, I have eliminated the scraps and have started to throw a few scoops of black oil sunflower seeds in the run to give them extra protein/methione.

    Should I just cull the primary offending hen? I am so worried that this is going to get out of control and I am not sure what I have done wrong. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
     

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