Yet another feather loss question

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Cajunrose, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Cajunrose

    Cajunrose Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2011
    I looked through the past threads on feather loss, but mine doesn't fit in any other category so far. My girls are about 10.5 months old and are great layers. They had fowl pox about 2 months ago but are better now. My girls (no roo and not any that are particularly bossy) are loosing feathers on their breast but no other area. From what I'm reading, molting happens from the head down. There is no feather loss on the head. I don't see any bugs on them at all. One, for sure, has had feather loss for a few weeks now. I am noticing it in 2 or 3 of the others now. Their skin looks nice and pink with no redness. You can't see it when they are up walking around...it is on their lower breast, between their legs. Maybe the part of their body that would touch the grass when just sitting on the ground. There is no new feather growth from what I can see.

    What could be wrong?

    Thanks
    Stephenie
     
  2. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 13, 2011
    Fox Valley, IL
    My Coop
    Is it possible one of them is pecking at the others?
     
  3. Cajunrose

    Cajunrose Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2011
    No, it's not In a place where other chickens can peck really. I watch them pretty close and haven't seen any doing any pecking. I have a blind chicken and I have to keep a close eye
    On her so by default, I watch all of them. They free range in my small backyard nearly all day long so it's not boredom.
     
  4. teutschb

    teutschb Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 25, 2011
    Alliance, OH
    Check for cuts.If they have cuts they will keep pecking at them.[​IMG]
     
  5. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi Cajunrose,

    it does sound like moulting. This doesn't always start at the head, and in some birds they can just about shed all their feathers at once. In other birds it's slow and subtle. Is the roost area full of feathers?

    If they're still laying, it's probably not moulting but feather-eating. They might be eating their own feathers, or more likely one bird has developed a taste for them and is dining on the others as well as herself. I would go into the roost at night and feel the crops of all the birds. A dedicated feather-eater will have a feather-feeling crop! If all the crops are full as normal, perhaps it's a boredom habit where they pick feathers and toss them away.

    Feather picking can be very hard to spot. Often when you go near your chickens all their attention is on you (as the food supplier).

    I'm no expert in all this, but those are my thoughts. If it's moulting, you don't need to do anything. If it's feather picking or eating, isolation is a start, and perhaps think about investing in a 'beak bit' (a c-shaped clip that goes inside the nostrils and through the mouth so the beak can't fully close).

    Best of luck with it, hope you work it out.

    Erica
     

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