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I have a small flock of Rhode Island Reds One year old (5).for…

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I have a small flock...
I have a small flock of Rhode Island Reds One year old (5).for the past month to 6 weeks their feathers on their tummy and near tail on top have dropped with no new growth. thought they were broody but it is not the case.tried the common poultry powder from the farm store.no results. tried Benadryl spray.no results.they seen very healthy other wise. they have clean butts and normal droppings, clear eyes and laying one egg a day each. the eggs are clean, complete and normal size, with normal hardness to the shell. the coop is clean and well ventilated. thought it might be the cedar shavings that covers the coop and nest boxes so changed to pine shaving on Sun.
they eat "Layer 100 pellets "and cuttings from the lawn that is made of field hay and weeds. The skin looks inflamed. they are not stressed out. They seem to be happy chickens and like to follow me when I am around. they are not pecking each other, or do I see any fleas or mites. Please help, thank you,[email protected]
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Bird Veterinary
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Answered in 1 day by:
6/17/2010
Bird Veterinarian: Andrea Roberts, Bird Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
Andrea Roberts
Andrea Roberts, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2,379
Experience: 15 years as a companion animal veterinarian; BVMS and MRCVS.
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Hi there

The most common reasons for what you are describing are mites/lice, feather pecking by other birds, and seasonal moulting.

The fact that you have eliminated lice/mites using the powder, and that most of them are affected eliminates feather pecking (as 1 is usually bullied), means that this is likely to be linked to moulting.

This is a normal change in the feathers related to day length- a small gland in the brain called the 'pineal gland' causes hormonal changes resulting in feather loss.

In laying hens, as they tend to put all their resources into laying eggs, regrowth of feathers can be put on the back burner- as the body places this low in priority.

It can help to add a supplement to the diet- such as calcified seaweed or 'poultry spice', as this contains the vitamins/minerals important for feather regrowth, and may encourage a faster emergence of new feathers.

The skin around the rear end often looks sore- mainly because chicken skin is very red in color anyway- so as long as the skin isn't broken or scabby then i wouldn't apply anything directly on the skin.

The feathers should regrow eventually when hormonal changes/mineral balances allow, but may be a slow process.

Regards Andrea



Edited by XXXXX XXXXX on 6/17/2010 at 1:54 PM EST
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