What's happening to this chicken?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by musson, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. musson

    musson Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2009
    Hillsborough NC
    There are 7 pullets. 3 are 38 weeks (BO, RIR, and the chicken in question; a single comb light brown leghorn - Misty). 4 are 23 weeks (BO, Australorp, SLW, and BR). They live in a 6x8 coop on a single roost. There is a 12 x 16 completely enclosed run and a larger fenced in area so they are not cramped. They eat layer pellets and crumble with a few handfuls of corn per week and the occasional bowl of yogurt and a cabbage.

    We live in NC and it's been unusually cold the past 2-3 weeks. It was 18 this AM. The coop is insulated, well ventilated and not heated.

    Misty has always been very animated and in charge. She also picked on the younger chickens quite a lot when they were younger. They are completely integrated at this point and everyone seems to get along well. Her status has definitely been lowered and she doesn't seem to pick on anyone anymore. I also have not seen anyone picking on her.

    The feathers started disappearing about 1 week ago. It continues to get worse. They are in places that she couldn't get to (back of her neck and the base of her comb) so in my mind it's either someone picking on her or it's a parasite of some kind. We have dusted her with Sevin a couple of days ago.

    She also had some damage to her comb a couple of weeks ago, got pale in the middle and had what looked like scabs on it. It has gotten better. The missing feathers are in fact missing, they are not on the ground anywhere. We have had no health problems with any of the chickens. They have not been exposed to any other chickens (ever) or other people who have chickens (2-3 months).

    So, my questions are:

    1) Is this damage from another chicken or some kind of disease.

    2) It it is a disease, how do I treat it?
    3) If it is damage from another chicken what should I do (if anything)?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. oberhaslikid

    oberhaslikid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 5, 2008
    Ohio
    Thats her new feathers comming back in.The feathers will grow through the straw looking shaft.
     
  3. musson

    musson Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2009
    Hillsborough NC
    It went from looking "normal" to looking like this, it never was bare.
     
  4. Those are called "pin feathers" . Typically a bird will "molt" then produce new feathers. The way a bird grows feathers is in a "pin" or a sheath structure that allows blood to flow with in it feeding the feather until it is fully formed. These sheaths will eventually fall off or the bird will "preen" the pins if they can reach them.

    This is perfectly normal, no cause for alarm. You MAY have a roo there, looks like cackles.
     
  5. musson

    musson Out Of The Brooder

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    29
    Apr 27, 2009
    Hillsborough NC
    Well, she lays eggs [​IMG]
     
  6. Terri O

    Terri O Chillin' With My Peeps

    No Musson---the feathers never completely fall out they fall as the new ones start. This is what I call "the porcupine look!" If she is handleable you can sit her on your lap and groom her with your fingernails. All the waxy stuff will come off and you will see a nice new feather emerge. They usually like this a lot! My parrot always loved when I cleaned up the places that he couldnt reach...some will lay their heads right on your lap for grooming--I think it itches, If you dont groom her she will eventually scratch with her feet and get it all off--so dont worry. If you do groom her be careful with the feathers that still have blood in the base--you dont want to damage the sheath on those because they will bleed and you will have to pull the feather then to stop the bleeding. HTH--Terri O
     
  7. musson

    musson Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2009
    Hillsborough NC
    Well ok, they are new feathers. But why did this happen? She is not old enough to molt.
     
  8. Terri O

    Terri O Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sure she is old enough. You said she is laying...after they start laying then they molt. OR--if she did have some damage to feathers then they will be replaced normally--not usually in the quantity that I see in the pic though. How old is the bird? Terri O
     
  9. musson

    musson Out Of The Brooder

    81
    0
    29
    Apr 27, 2009
    Hillsborough NC
    38 weeks.
     
  10. Terri O

    Terri O Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think that is plenty old to molt. Nearly 10 months old. She is a brown leghorn too, fast to grow and produce. Terri O
     

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