Isa Brown Lost Neck Feathers

by Tanya
(North Queensland Aust)

Question

Isa Brown lost neck feathers: My Isa Brown (one of 4 pets) has lost neck feathers. I have dipped them in poultry dip for mites but she seems to be getting blackness near the skin of the feather and then they fall out? Cannot see mites but her neck skin looks red - please help.

Answer
Since you dipped for mites, it’s probably not mites. Have you actually seen the feathers fall out, or is it possible something or someone of your other pet chickens is pulling them?

Chickens can go through a “hard molt” and look very shabby, they usually do this before the coldest time of year.

That is a normal time that feathers would just fall out as new ones are growing in behind them.

I think you are going to need to spend some time with the chickens and watch their behavior. Is she scratching them out?

Is another chicken bullying her or is your rooster (if you have one) pulling them out when he holds her down to breed her?

I’m sorry I have more questions for you than you had for me, but without seeing what’s going or what the hen’s neck looks like, I’m just not sure what to tell you.

If the skin is red, this could be because the feathers are gone the sunlight has caused the pigment to change.

Or, if this is a wound of some sort, you should keep it clean and treat with an antibiotic and maybe anti-itch spray, to keep her more comfortable while this heals.

I find the best way to figure out chicken problems in my flock is to watch them. I have a bench, just outside the pen.

Hope this helps a little. Please get back to us, when you can send a picture or tell us a bit more. Thanks for writing!

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My 4 girls
by: Tanyas

Just love reading all the posts on your site! I still havent figured out what's wrong with one of my girls, have actually figured out that she seems to be the bully and not being bullied! I will get pics of her neck area loss of feathers if it ever stops raining! Still getting 3-4 eggs per day from my 4 girls however.
Will post pics of my small coup and glad to hear I'm doing the correct cleaning with good ol' bleach once a week and setting down a small amount of hay/straw to absorb the poops that get cleaned out. Thanks for the read !!!
Response
Thank you and please send pictures and stories so we can share with other raising chicken fans.

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Neck feathers

by: Richo

Neck feathers: My rooster ,breed, probably Heinz, is losing his neck feathers, it actually looks like they are being pulled out. He has 3 hens and they seem to get along well. the neighbour has about 20 birds all healthy. Rooster has scaly legs which I've treated.
My birds are about 12 months old. the hens are clean.
If the feathers are being pulled out will they be replaced with new ones?
He seems healthy otherwise, though a little wary of me since I treated his legs.\Thanks for your site.
kind regards
Richo

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puppy dog attack
by: Tanya

Following a recent puppy dog attack (my own dog darn it), my black chook took a couple of puncture wounds and severe shock at having her feathers plucked out and did not open her eyes for around 3-5 days.

In the meantime I fed her and kept her hydrated with a syringe. She has now come good and is out of shock and is eating and taking water by herself.

However I have noticed that the other 3 chickens treat her like a second rate citizen - not allowing her to eat with them, taking her position on the roost at night, badgering her at every opportunity.

Is this what they call "hen pecking order"? She is trying her hardest to be normal but has been through a horrible shock and is not the same girl I once knew !!
Do you think she will be ok?

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Puppy Attack
by: Anonymous

Ouch! Thanks for writing Tanya. So sorry about your little chook. I would separate her from the flock until she is back to normal.

Keep her warm and well fed, make sure she gets some sunshine and fresh greens and some fruit along with good feed.

She will need extra proteins to recover from her trauma and extra vitamins for stress are good, too. You might feed her a conditioning feed or chick start for the extra nutrients.

It's natural for chickens to pick at the weak. It's their way of driving illness out of the flock.

They have no idea if she is contagious, all they know is they don't want the sick around to attract predators or spread disease. On some level they seem to know this in their set of survival instincts.

Once she is in strong good health she will be able to stand up to the flock's testing and pecking habits.

If being alone is hard on her you might find a very gently rooster or hen to keep her company.

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Re neck feathers loss
by: Anonymous

I to had the same problem, I traced mine to the feeder I bought from a business in Townsville, the bottom edge where the chooks enter to feed was very sharp PVC. As soon as I took that sharp edge off with a file the problem cleared up within the week, hope this helps.

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