Thinning tail feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pattyp, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. pattyp

    pattyp Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 3, 2013
    Australia
    Hi we have a chicken that appears to have some thinning of her tail feathers. The feathers are not falling out, the feather shaft is still there but with no feather. I also question if she is laying well. We have four girls and until recently they were laying every day now we frequently find the there are only three eggs or three and a softy. Our hens are under 12 months old. We live in Australia and its not been too cold over the winter. The girls have a clean coop and lots of clean water. We are starting to wonder if out little hen is ok. :/ Has anyone else have this experience.
    Patty
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    Main thing to think about is molting. This would explain both the loss in eggs and missing feathers. During a molt you will see many feather shafts. Before you chalk it up to that though, you need to check for a few other problems just to make sure.
    1) Check vent area for lice or mites.
    2) Make sure there are no feather pickers (would also have scabs or bloody spots near missing feathers).
    3) Deworming- When was the last time and could it be a problem in your flock?

    If nothing on the checklist is a problem and she has no other symptoms then it is most likely a molt. If she comes up with any more symptoms let us know quickly so we can figure it out. Good luck.
     
  3. pattyp

    pattyp Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 3, 2013
    Australia
    Thanks for that the only thing I havnt done is check for mites and lice. We do check for fleas regularly but I will check the vents. No pickers they all get along well except when there are no enough moths around for all... and they were wormed about three weeks ago, this was a preventative treatment after noticing some runny poos. I had thought about molting but assumed it would be the whole feather as well as shaft, I also noticed yesterday that one of the others is starting to look the same. thanks for your reply :)
     
  4. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    Some birds go almost completely bald (except pin feathers) in the area that they molt. Others have the new shaft shove the old feather out making it look like the feather was ripped at the shaft. Adding extra protein will help them grow their feathers back faster. Sounds like you take really good care of your flock. Good luck and have fun!
     

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