Lucy is missing feathers on her neck

msjay2u(7)March 19, 2009

WHAT NOW!!??

i swear every time I turn around something new. Okay yesterday I went out the let the chickens out and Lucy is missing feathers on her neck. Well at first it was just a couple today she is almost bare-necked.

I am not good at capturing photos of the hens. This is the best shot I can give out of about 20 tries. I just noticed this yesterday.

so what could this be? First of all remember I told you about how Lucy and Ethel attacked the new pullets so I put the pullets and bitties in a battery cage inside the chicken coop?

Okay so I have noticed that Lucy no longer eats her chicken feed... she now prefers to eat the spilled feed from under the battery cage. The cage was only about 1.5" off the ground at that time. The Ameracauna makes a holy mess with the food, spewing it everywhere, and results in a large pile under the cage. Lucy goes after all the spilled feed. Since I noticed her nearly naked neck I propped the front of the cage up on a brick so she can get the food from under the cage without damaging her neck. No blood by the way just a LOT of missing feathers.

I wonder if she is also getting her head through the wire on the battery cage trying to mess with the pullets?

Maybe she is putting her head in there to drink their water too?

I am mystified.

What is this big obsession with her in not eating her own food anyway??

Also I have a lamp in there for the pullets and now Lucy and Ethel sleep on the ground and generally hang around the battery cage instead of doing like they usually did. geez!! This has messed up my whole groove. You know I clean the pen everyday. well they were pooping in the box where the pine bedding was but now they are pooping all over the floor where I just put in the pine chunks and I am not about to be out there shoveling everyday. Now I have to have all that mulch removed to clean the frick-fracking cage!! ugggh

so I need opinions on her neck issue as well as the other stuff.

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sumac(SE MI)

Do You have a Rooster? They bite on to the neck feathers when mounting the girls. That could account for the missing feathers.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 9:49PM
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msjay2u(7)

No roosters.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 10:04PM
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henhilton(8)

Last summer one of my hens had the same sort of problem. I started calling her Mohawka because she just had a little ridge of feathers up the back of her neck. My vet has had to limit his practice and doesn't see livestock animals anymore, but when I talked to him about it (while he was seeing one of my dogs),he gave me a couple of doses of Ivermectin to give her 10 days apart. Don't know if that was what did it, but eventually Mohawka grew her feathers back.

The other stuff? Who knows why chickens do what chickens do?!?! Some of my birds seem to prefer to eat off the floor instead of out of the feeder, too. Maybe she enjoys feeling like she's "stealing" the new birds' food? Hope they shape up and quit driving you nuts soon!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 5:25AM
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runningtrails

Could she be molting? I'm wondering if mine are starting to molt.

I keep about 6-8" in dry bedding on the floor of the chicken house at all times. When it gets poopy, which is usually every day under the roosts, I add another layer of dry bedding on top, usually every other day. I keep piling it on, just making sure there's lots of dry on top. It absorbs the moisture and keeps the coop dry and smelling nice.

I only shovel it out about once every 6-8 weeks.
No way I'd clean it out every day! That must keep you really busy!

Chickens are pixilated. No doubt about it, and if one does it, they all have to do it. Follow the leader...

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 8:02AM
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sullicorbitt(z5 MA)

I think it's feather picking, I have the same thing going on right now in my coop and I have been through this year after year! I think it has to do with the time of year partly, the girls are laying like crazy right now. I've tried adding protein to their food and hanging cabbage piniatas to keep them entertained but the only real help I have discovered is Rooster Booster "pick no more" lotion and salve. It's a pain to put on them, for me it's a two person job one to hold the bird and one to apply. Also you have to reapply it after a couple of days but it does work.

Hope this helps.

Sheila

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 3:19PM
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msjay2u(7)

I noticed a new behavior on her when I come around. She squats like she is laying an egg and squawks. I have no idea what this means. She has done this twice already. I watched her and her feathers are missing from her squeezing her head in the battery cage, exactly like hen hilton said she likes stealing.

I put a lot of shredded paper in the coop the other day and either they are eating it or it is somehow appearing to disappear. Runnigtrails any theory on that?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 10:48PM
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islandmanmitch(z 8/9 FL)

It means she wants a rooster.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 9:58AM
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