Strange feathers on Chicken

dianebry(8TX)April 30, 2010

HELP I have a young chicken with strange looking feathers. They look and feel more like quills. This poor thing has already had a broken leg and now when it's supposed to feather out it is almost bald down the middle of it's back and under it's belly. Has anyone ever come across this before. It's almost like the feathers are stuck in a shaft.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
calliope(6)

Sounds like a mite infestion. I'd dust her. The quill is the normal appearance of where new feathers are trying to erupt to replace shed feathers, but haven't grown out far enough yet. Have any other chickens been plucking at her? If not, I'd suspect mites.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 5:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Are these new feathers growing in after a molt? If so, they are normal and the bird will preen them in. Don't handle the bird during this time as it's painful for them. Offer some extra protein in the form of live mealworms/crickets, cooked ground beef, scrambled eggs, etc. to give them a protein boost--growing new feathers takes lots of protein!

Like calliope said, check her over for mites (tiny, dark, crawling specks, and/or grayish dust stuck to the base of feather shafts, which are the mite eggs). Place her on a sheet or two of white paper towels for about 20 mites, then look at the towels--mites are attracted to white and you'll see them crawling on the towels.

Also check to make sure she (or another bird) aren't pulling her feathers out. This can be a sign of boredom/overcrowding or a protein deficiency. If the feathers are being eaten after being pulled, offer more protein in their diet. Feather picking can be a tough bad habit to break, if that is what they are doing offer foods that take time to eat (a cabbage hung from a string, raw corn on the cob) to divert pecking from her and offer them entertainment. If they are overcrowded give them more room to roam.

Also, when growing new feathers they tend to be down-in-the-dumps and kinda grumpy, which is normal. Heck, I'd be grumpy, too!

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 4:37PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Raw Milk
Where Can I find Raw milk in western washington?
ivarlucas
Duck hiding/disappeared
I have 2 drakes and 2 females (pekin and mallard) ...
meredithmanning2
First time hatching Duck eggs!!
Hello-- This is my first time hatching duck eggs. I...
christie71
How do you deal with neighbors' dogs?
One of the neighbors' dogs killed my only 2 chickens...
cranberry15
Urgent:Help in Raising Chicks
A healthy mother hen died while it was trying to hatch...
Dakshin Thyagarajan
Sponsored Products
300-Thread Count Evendream Pillow - Set of Two
$34.99 | zulily
AICO Furniture - Victoria Palace 4 pc Sectional Set - 618SEC4-AMBER-29
Great Furniture Deal
Quill Wall Sconce by Hubbardton Forge
$530.00 | Lumens
Persis Geometric Feather and Down Filled Throw Pillow Yellow
Overstock.com
8" x 24" Decorative Bolster Pillow Insert
$34.50 | FRONTGATE
Guinea Feathers Throw Pillow - PIL-AOI-Q
$39.99 | Hayneedle
Moooi | Paper Screen Patchwork
YLighting
Poly Lumber Hanging Tray Birdfeeder
Fifthroom.com
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™