White Silkie lost her crown! Help me.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 1stimechick, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. 1stimechick

    1stimechick Hatching

    Jan 8, 2011
    Sometime between yesterday and today, maybe 24 hours, my 17 week old white Silkie has lost all of the hair on her head. It is not bleeding and appears the hair fell out, she is down to the scalp. She is in a sizable coop with 3 other chickens. They have been raised together, all females, eating and drinking fine, etc. Nothing seems out of the ordinary. Has anyone has this issue before? If so, what should I do? Is this normal? I know I sound a little crazy right now but consider this is my first flock.

    Also, everything I read advised they should be laying eggs around 16 weeks. We haven't seen anything yet. Just curious how long can it take before they actually start laying.

    Thank you for any advice.
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] The most logical guess would be that the others have been plucking her crest and eating the feathers. This is a bad habit that frequently starts in the winter when chickens are cooped up. The most common targets are Polish and silkies with their prominent crests and reduced vision. It seems very unlikely that her crest would just fall out over night.
  3. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    No, that only happens to us men. [​IMG] Probably plucked. [​IMG]
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I agree with sourland. The only time my chickens have overnight lost feathers - it was meanness from other chickens.

    What I did was watch my chickens interacting in the yard to see who the "pickee" was afraid of- then I also noticed that when certain chickens were in the coop with those pickees, they bowed and stayed bowed, with heads to the floor, and rears up in the air- acting terrified.

    I sold the mean ones at auction.

    Most breeds will start laying by 20-24 weeks is what I have experienced and read- but silkies can take 7-8 months or longer to start laying. Then they will go broody a lot (and you don't get eggs during that time). (EEs can take longer to lay too- and sex links will lay at 5 months in my experience.)

    I have my silkies because they are cute. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  5. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    There are a couple possibilities: 1. She is getting picked on as sourland suggested. Maybe she got in a fight with one of the other hens. 2. She could be molting. When birds molt the feathers literally fall right out. As long as there is no bleeding then I wouldn't worry, it will grow back as long as the feathers were completely plucked from the skin. If they are just broken and still attached to the follicle then they won't grow back.
  6. 1stimechick

    1stimechick Hatching

    Jan 8, 2011
    Thank you all so much for the responses. Your answers were very helpful. [​IMG]
  7. LupinLaneChickens

    LupinLaneChickens In the Brooder

    Jun 8, 2010
    Lynnwood, WA
    I also have this problem with one of my black silkie hens. She is completely bald and is starting to loose the feathers on her neck as well. I took her to the feed store owner who always seems to be able to help me with my chickens and he was pretty stumped as well as to what the problem was. He said that it doesnt seem to be other chickens picking at her because of the way its just her crown and it went missing so fast. Also, I have been watching them and the other chickens dont seem to pick on her, and they have a big roomy area to run around. Anyways, he said that his best guess as to what was wrong is that she has some sort of fungus or bacteria growing. He reccommended putting Duramycin in her water for three days as well as applying iodine to the featherless parts at least once a day. I just started with this treatment two days ago so I havent seen much of a difference, although she definitely isnt getting any worse. Since it looks like this post was from a while ago has your hen recovered yet? Did you ever figure out what exactly was wrong? Any info would be great, thanks!
  8. RussianChickens

    RussianChickens Songster

    Jul 2, 2013
    Michigan (USA)

    I have a black silkie with this same problem but she isnt with other chickens.

    I think she may have scratched the feathers out as they appear to be broke off at skin level.

    Does this mean they will NEVER GROW BACK!?! Or do i just wait for her next molt and the stubs will fall out and new feathers grow in?

    Please help!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: