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The tale of the missing cushion

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mcjessen, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. mcjessen

    mcjessen Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Coeur d Alene ID
    I have a BR who is roughly 18 months old. We got her full grown and laying already in Dec so I'm guessing her age.

    About three weeks ago, I noticed that her cushion (area below her vent) was completely bare. The area was about the size of a clenched fist. I didn't notice it the day before so I'm assuming she lost her feathers during the morning/early afternoon of the day I noticed. I couldn't find any of the feathers though. I should say that the three girls live in a 3x4 coop and have a 4x11 run.

    I started giving extra protein to her and her flock mates in the form of tuna. I've been adding about 2TBS of tuna every morning to their spinach. Her feathers started growing in very quickly and came in solid black last week (strange coloring but maybe that just happens). Yesterday afternoon I noticed that she's lost a small section of her cushion again and it looks a little crusty. I didn't get a chance to catch her yesterday (she and her BR sister are both skittish but we're working with them) but plan on doing it today to get a closer look. She hasn't been acting any differently, she's eating, drinking and laying like normal. I haven't seen evidence in the coop of any mites. I use DE regularly. I've also checked out my Australorp for bugs and she's clear so I'm assuming the two BR are clear also.

    Does anybody have any thoughts about why she'd be missing feathers again? I'm wondering if the girls are getting bored during the day and someone (Aussie) is pulling the feathers. I am skeptical of this theory though because I have never seen these three chickens be aggressive toward each other. I can't imagine someone is lacking protein and eating the feathers because they're getting extra protein every morning. It's a missing cushion mystery.

    Any thoughts would be great! Thanks

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