Strange feather problem

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rmansker, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. rmansker

    rmansker Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2008
    Atlanta GA
    I just came home from a 2 week vacation [​IMG] to find one of my chickens almost totally defeathered! I had a neighbor feeding them for me while we were gone and she called me a few days before we came home to tell me it looked like one of the girls was losing her feathers. What an understatement!

    What is weird is that all the feather shafts are there, but the fuzzy part of the feathers are gone! No sign of any mites or lice and she seems fine, but she is so pitiful looking! Any ideas what is going on? My other 3 hens are all fine. Could the others be picking on her plucking her feathers? If so something must have happened to the pecking order while I was gone because she is the dominant hen. Help!

    Thanks,

    Richard
     
  2. GreenGoddess

    GreenGoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    St Pauls, NC
    Do you have a rooster in with them? If yes, then it's possible the rooster is mating with her too much.. Do you have a pic?

    Goddess [​IMG]
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    She's molting. Those feather shafts are her new feathers growing in.
     
  4. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Yes it does like she is in a full blown molt. I am sure they seems to be embarassed! [​IMG]
     
  5. rmansker

    rmansker Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2008
    Atlanta GA
    No molting, she already molted back in the spring.

    And no, no roosters either. I'm in the city where they're not allowed so I have to keep things quiet.

    Am I going to have to pluck all these stripped feather shafts out so she can grow new feathers? She is going to freeze to death this winter if she stays like this![​IMG]
     
  6. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    pics?

    could it be feather mites? In which case I don't know why your other hens wouldn't be showing some feather loss - have you picked them all up and examined very carefully?

    vent area? hows that look?
     
  7. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    If there are no lice or mites on her, I would not do anything else except give her a few pieces of cat food for her, canned or dry (broken in peppercorn sizes) to speed up the growth of feathers.

    Sometimes stress can make the hen molt sooner or change of feed.
     

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