Weird Feather Loss in Meat Birds

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RoostersCrow HensDeliver!, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2011
    SE Michigan
    I have raised a couple batches of CornishX so far and I am concerned about maybe some of my meat chickens are sick. They are six weeks old. I have never had an issue with them not feathering out by now. They are on 20% starter/grower crumble. Here are some pictures I took tonight, I just noticed one male was lethargic and his back skin seems to be grayish vs the regular pink flesh tone. I'm worried, PLEASE tell me that I'm over reacting. The rest of them seem to be acting normally.

    Sick male ( I am holding his leg so he cant get away, he lays down normally but does walk wobbly)
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    His comb and face skin look normal, not pale or purple
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    Here he is standing
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    The following pictures are of the rest of the flock
    This male is also missing feathers in the same pattern
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    Normally feathered
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    As you can see, some of the birds are fully feathered and some are missing feathers in the same pattern as the lethargic male.
    [​IMG]

    Please, Somebody, have an answer for me. I feel sick to my stomach.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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  3. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I had one just like this early this summer, but it did not act abnormally. It was the largest boy I had. I processed him early because I just didn't like the sight of him (I guess I'm vain). He was healthy otherwise, but I processed him at 7 weeks. I wanted to look out and see fully feathered chickens. All the rest were completely covered by 4 weeks.

    Is he walking wobbly because of being fed constantly? CX need 12 hours off of feed at least. If they eat too much they will have a hard time getting around.. Especially if not allowed the space to run around outside.
     
  4. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2011
    SE Michigan
    I decided to kill the sick bird, I noticed he had raspy breathing when I checked on him this morning. He was laying there shivering under the heat lamp ( I have them outside in a hoop coop). He never got up to eat or drink in the hours I spent in the coop last night or this morning. (I just buried him, not wanting to take a chance on eating him).

    I am keeping an eye on the rest of them, but none of the rest are lethargic, they have good appetites and good skin color. He might have just caught a cold or something.

    Thank you both, for your input, I do REALLY appreciate it. I am still new at meat birds and my mind just jumps to the worst possible scenario. I did notice that it IS the males that have less feathers than the females. I will try not to go into panic mode after the slightest problem. Thank you.
     
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Is their bedding nice and dry? Too much ammonia can definitely cause those respiratory symptoms you are seeing.
     
  6. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,920
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    Apr 11, 2011
    SE Michigan
    I have been changing bedding at least every week. The last couple days we've gotten of rain everyday. The wind will blow it right into the coop.
    I have moved them out into my hoop coop so they have plenty of fresh air. None of the others have raspy breathing.
     

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