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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26288
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My chickens are loosing feathers, at the front bottom of their

Customer Question

My chickens are loosing feathers, at the front bottom of their necks and, on their backs just before their tail, in mid june. The feathers appear to be broken about 1/4" from their skin. Aside from that they are happy and laying eggs very well. I am about to check for mites and do a very thorough cleaning of their run. The coop is cleaned and sprayed with a chicken health product to kill bugs weekly.
Any suggestions would be appreciated...
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I can't imagine that you're seeing anything other than a molt. While molting isn't expected at this time of year in the USA, the areas of feather loss are too indicative of the early stages of molting to consider anything else. Some birds will begin a molt January-June and some will molt throughout the year particularly if artificial light is plentiful. It's not unreasonable to check for ectoparasites - mites, lice, e.g. - but I'd be surprised if you found them - particularly because you've been so thorough about addressing "bugs".
The most important thing you can do at this time is to provide more protein and calcium which will facilitate feather replacement. Consider adding dried mealworms, meats, scrambled eggs, and tuna as well. A calcium supplement such as Calciboost or Calcivet can be added to their water. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi Tony,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

bigislandvet

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