missing feathers

Posted by: Anonymous

missing feathers - 07/17/02 06:54 PM

Hello everyone,
MY wife and my self just bought a house and the previous owners through in the chickins and we have no idea what we are doing eek .The chickins are about 2-3 yrs. old and some of the hens are missing alot of feathers is this something we should be worried about? and also are there any signs of sickness we should be watching for confused . any help is greatly appriciated smile
Posted by: Big Boy

Re: missing feathers - 07/18/02 03:43 AM

They are probably in a moult, which is natural this time of the year. Are there any males with your flock? What kind are they (White Leghorns, RI Reds, etc.)? Did this just come on or has it happened since you bought the place?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: missing feathers - 07/18/02 12:53 PM

If ther is a male then he may be scraping the feathers off of the hens backs when he mates. They might have lice, mites, fleas. Check for bugs under the feathers and a mounthly maintance thing I do is dust them with flea and tick stuff: even if they do not have any bugs. They could also be in moult as well. smile
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: missing feathers - 07/18/02 07:10 PM

right now we have three males and nineteen hens,we have no idea what kind they are but there black and white and the hens are an assortment of white,black w/ green highlites in the sun,brown,and black and white like the males, now not all of them are missing feathers, but with the flea and tick is it a powder? and is there any certain brand that works better then the others? thanks for any help you might have cool
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: missing feathers - 07/18/02 07:24 PM

Diatomatous Earth is very good for the creepy crawlies... they should have a place where they take dust baths... just watch them and you will notice. Dump some food grade DE there and they will fluff it up on themselves. It gets on their skin and slices up the bugs. You can usually get it at the Co-op.

You can also take an old stocking (like a knee high) and fill it with DE and sprinkle them that way. You will need to hold them for it of course. Some folks will put a bit of Sevins dust on their chickens but don't do this too often... maybe once or twice a year. Apply it with a stocking as well.

HTH laugh
Posted by: Big Boy

Re: missing feathers - 07/19/02 03:59 AM

Kari has some good advice for prevention. Any sparrows or other wildfowl that feed in the chicken yard or gather feathers or roost in the building can carry parasites that are transmitted to your fowl. Fowl mites are most often observed around the vent area as areas of bumpy, whitish material clinging to the feathers in that area. There are some folk concerned about the over-use of DE as well as Sevin. Kari out-lined a good method of applying either but I would use some safety precautions such as goggles and a dust mask with as many fowl as you would be treating. But it is normal for poultry to moult this time of year. Fowl (including turkeys, ducks, guineas, etc.) gradually replace their feathers. Those that do so in a relatively short period of time are generally better layers than others, but if you have some really active roosters, that can keep the backs bare. Good Luck.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: missing feathers - 07/21/02 02:34 PM

Just a line about the breeds you may have, there are a lot of hens mainly white & black feathers. The most common being Light Sussex or Dorkings but they could be many other sorts. Best bet is to invest in a book showing all breeds in colour they are only cheap and very handy.