Toenail eating, feather plucking

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kle2684, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. kle2684

    kle2684 Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    37
    Mar 9, 2014
    I need some advice. I've been posting about "Prudy" my 8 month old Brahma hen since fall. She started with feather loss below her vent that eventually went under her wings and down her legs. She has beautiful new feathers that try and grown in but she preens herself alot and I believe, eats her own feathers. She has now resorted to eating her toenails. I mean, I came home to a bloody mess of a chicken with only a few toenails left on. She eats and drinks great but is not currently laying. She has gotten very thin in the last 2 or 3 months. I am a veterinary technician and have run countless fecal samples to look for parasites. We have checked her for mites numerous times. We did bloodwork on her last week and it seemed pretty normal other than a mild decrease in calcium and phosphorus.Is this a nutrition issue? I'm at a total loss and would appreciate any insite
     
  2. kle2684

    kle2684 Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    37
    Mar 9, 2014
    Anyone?
     
  3. The Phantom

    The Phantom Chillin' With My Peeps

    203
    30
    64
    Jan 9, 2017
    Wisconsin
  4. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,314
    371
    191
    Jul 19, 2016
    Iowa
    She more than likely has lice and mites.Which can be treated with Garden spray poultry dust.Check under her wings and vent see any bugs?This is not a pecking issue.Lice and mites will target under the vent and wings and will kill feather shafts.Your hen is probably badly infested with them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  5. The Phantom

    The Phantom Chillin' With My Peeps

    203
    30
    64
    Jan 9, 2017
    Wisconsin
    Get her vitamin levels back up.
     
  6. kle2684

    kle2684 Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    37
    Mar 9, 2014

    Do you know the best way to do that? I am feeding her Purina Layer Feed. She has been eating this since she was old enough.
     
  7. kle2684

    kle2684 Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    37
    Mar 9, 2014

    Like I said above, I have repeatedly checked her for lice/mites and have seen nothing. Would it hurt her to treat for them anyways, just to cover all the bases?
     
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict


    You know, someone once told me about their chickens losing feathers and such with no explanation and turned out it was mice coming in the coop at night and chewing on their feathers. Could be chewing on toenails also, especially in the winter time...this is often the time field mice will find shed antlers and chew on them for the minerals to be found there. Curious that it would be just one chicken, if that is the case, but it could be relative to where she roosts.

    Might be something to consider. I'd treat for rodents in the coop just as a precaution.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. The Phantom

    The Phantom Chillin' With My Peeps

    203
    30
    64
    Jan 9, 2017
    Wisconsin
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by