Welsumer behaving strangely, losing feathers, help?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kristenm1975, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I have a 9 month old Welsumer hen who just started losing a lot of feathers. Weirdest of all, they have mostly gone from her head and neck, stopping at a perfect line around her neck so that it looks like she got her head stuck in a contraption and backed herself out, removing all the feathers on the way. (This isn't possible as she's got 1/2 inch hardware cloth on her coop)

    I examined her closely today and saw no insects whatsoever. She continued to lose feathers all the time I was examining her, but I could see tiny new feathers starting under the big ones. She can't be molting already can she?

    The other odd things she's doing is that she's stepping very high, like she's walking up stairs, even though she's just on short grass. She's also looking up at the top of the coop a lot. Odd.

    The only things that have changed in her environment is that I just sold a hen from her coop, and possibly she's made a bid for top hen and got pecked for her efforts. The other change is that let week I switched their feed from Half Moon pellets to Scratch and Peck feed, which has no soy.

    I dusted her with diatomaceous earth just in case it's a bug issue, and have added apple cider vinegar with the mother to their water. Any other suggestions?

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  2. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm confused, why do you think she's not just seasonally molting? Do you have any pictures? If there are no bugs, and she's still eating/drinking/foraging/roosting, she might just be going through an odd molt. I'm in VA and all of my hens are right in the middle of their molts, started weeks ago.
     
  3. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Mostly because I've never had chickens long enough to see them jolt. (grins sheepishly) Plus, I did have trouble a few years back with a major mite infestation that killed a number of my hens, starting with a Welsumer who looked all fluffed up and then just keeled over after a week or so.

    The more I look at this hen, the more I think you're right, and she's just molting. Whew!
     

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