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My chicken has lost large patches of hair and is not moving…

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my chicken has lost large...
my chicken has lost large patches of hair and is not moving around. The other chickens have gone into coop for the night and this one didn't.
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Bird
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Answered in 10 hours by:
7/30/2017
Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 year ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 35,473
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 year ago

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. When patches of feathers are missing yet this isn't seen on your other chickens, this chicken is likely to have been cannabalized by your others who perceived that it was ill. Her not going into the coop and lethargy are other indications of illness but doesn't tell us what type of illness exists. Other symptoms are needed to clarify this. Have you noticed other symptoms you can tell me about?

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
No I have not noticed any other symptoms. I have removed her from other hens. She is more listless today and won't drink.
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
I have not noticed any other symptoms. She is more listless today and won't even drink.
Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 year ago

Thank you. It was smart to remove her for her own protection. Regretfully, her listlessness and inappetence can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues in chickens. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of such a presentation, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests, X-rays, and physical exams to differentiate one from another. Necropsy of a newly dead or a sacrificed severely ill bird then refrigerated (not frozen) can be an important diagnostic particularly in large production flocks. If you have such a flock, your best course of action may be to have your county extension poultry service or avian vet (please see here: www.aav.org) arrange a necropsy. I understand that this may not be appropriate for a pet chicken, however.

As more and more backyard flocks arise, the demand for veterinary care has similarly increased but little in the way of over the counter drugs exist for their care and so flock owners are quite handicapped in how they can help their birds without the aid of a veterinarian; however, it's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of her financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects one hen. It frustrates me that I can't be more specific for you but such is the dilemma of poultry owners and vets alike.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
she is a pet but thank you anyway.
Bird Specialist: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 1 year ago

You're quite welcome.

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