Thought it was molt but not sure

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dabele, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. dabele

    dabele Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 4, 2015
    Our hens started losing feathers on their backs 2 months ago, not all at once but slowly all of them plus our rooster too. Now their backs and buttstock are bare. We live in the desert of AZ... checked them for lice, mites, fleas etc during day and night and no sign of infestation.

    About 2 weeks ago we switched them to feed with 20% protein and started supplementing with ground beef, fish, etc.

    Still not sure what's going on with them. These pics are a few weeks old, their butts are more bare underneath.

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  2. Firekin1

    Firekin1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those bare apots on their backs is your rooster which is normal, you can purchase online or make your own hen saddles to help prevent it. You should also check their sides as well for any injuries because his spurs can tear their flesh when he breeds them...
     
  3. dabele

    dabele Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 4, 2015
    I would agree except their underneath are bare too. And the rooster is also showing the same symptoms...
     
  4. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Overrun With Chickens

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    The hens could be from over breeding. Another possibility is the jump in protein. What was the protein originally? Sometimes a jump in protein can throw the body out off schedule making it so the body has to adapt to handle the changes. This could be one way the body is handling the rush of energy is to lose feathers. They'll grow back.
     
  5. dabele

    dabele Out Of The Brooder

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    So the feather loss started 2 months ago. Their layer feed was 16% protein then. I thought they were in molt so I upped the protein but only 2 weeks ago, after the feather loss. We have 16 hens and 1 rooster but the rooster is losing feathers as well.
     
  6. Firekin1

    Firekin1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you checked for external parasites?
     
  7. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Overrun With Chickens

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    My guess would be too much protein for them and it freaked the body out. An 18% protein will get them out of a molt fast enough without problems. If you wish you could possibly add some calcium to their diet to get some really good quality plumage. The ground beef and fish will jump the protein even further above 20%.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  8. LBraden

    LBraden Out Of The Brooder

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    Following... I had this exact same problem. It's been going on for about 2 months now. Same symptoms, I thought it was molt, upped protein, nothing has changed. Bare backs, vents, and bellys.
     
  9. dabele

    dabele Out Of The Brooder

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    Lbraden, I'm still having the problem. It's been since Feb and no changes, just rough looking chickens :/
     
  10. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Overrun With Chickens

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    Can you post pics of them right now? What's their diet consist of? How many roosters per hen ratio? Check for mites, lice, and other parasites at night not during the day. Some mites will stay in between the boards of your coop during the day but at night they will get on your birds.
     

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