What is happening with my hen?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by heidilc717, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. heidilc717

    heidilc717 New Egg

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    Mar 14, 2016
    I apologize if this isn't the right board for this, please tell me if I should move it to a different one...

    About a week ago, my 8-month-old Ameraucana started looking like the photo below. At first, we thought she might be molting, but she's really too young...isn't she? Besides, the feathers are thick and downy, not patchy, and there's no skin showing. I've been concerned that they may need more room, could some of the other hens have picked off her top feathers? :(. Thanks for any help you can give!

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    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    First year hens will sometimes experience a light molt but it usually doesn't look like that. And when birds peck each other they usually go to the skin. But your bird looks different...like you said - a patch of downy feathers. Did you examine her to make sure the skin isn't broken? Any chance of parasites on her?
     
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Mites/lice, feather picking, or she's preening too much.
     
  4. heidilc717

    heidilc717 New Egg

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    Mar 14, 2016
    Thank you, I will check her in the morning. Anything in particular to look for? This is our first flock, so I'm just learning.

    **Edited to add that I've been googling this but haven't found very much that looks like she does. She has been laying regularly, about 5 eggs a week.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Bugs check......

    Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.
    Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).
    Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.
    Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.
     
  6. heidilc717

    heidilc717 New Egg

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    Mar 14, 2016
    Thank you!
     

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