What the heck is going on???? (Strange, very sudden feather loss)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Anne, May 28, 2008.

  1. Anne

    Anne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 11, 2007
    Bellingham, WA
    My fifteen 5-week-old Araucana chicks were getting too big for their brooder box in the basement, so this morning I moved them to a sectioned-off area of the barn. As I was transferring them from the brooder to the barn, I took the opportunity to do a quick physical inspection on each one. They were all fine.

    When I got home from work today, at least half of the chicks had all the feathers missing from their backs! I observed them for 15 minutes and didn't see any bullying, feather-picking, or self-picking behavior. There's no blood, scratches or bite marks (like you would see if a predator had been after them or an older bird got into their pen and beat them up). On each bird the feathers are all missing from the exact same area on the back (from the shoulders to the base of the tail.

    Has this ever happened to anyone else? Does anyone have any idea what might be going on?

    Thanks in advance for any help or ideas.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2008
  2. Pinenot

    Pinenot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2007
    I am certain it is feather picking. When you moved them, it was stressful. In any stressful situation, they feather pick. It will get better if you put a bowl of dry rolled oats in the area they are in. Good luck and let us know.
     
  3. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    Why do you suggest dry rolled oats work? Are there calming properties to oats? I am curious.
    Anne
     
  4. Pinenot

    Pinenot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2007
    It is good for them and it will give them something to do, instead of feather picking. Sometimes I will moisten it and roll in a ball. They love that!
     
  5. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    What a great idea. Thank you.

    Anne in Washington, I hope your girls feathers grow back soon. It's hard to see them in this shape.

    another Anne
     

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