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    • CommentAuthormaryb
    • CommentTimeJan 31st, 2012 1:32pm (Jan 31st 2012)
    I need some help please. I have three hens (light sussex, silver sussex and a rhode rock). For a few weeks now my rhode rock has been losing weight (on the breast area) and is plucking out her feathers on her breast. The other two seem perfectly well and they are all producing eggs. Any advice?
    • CommentTimeJan 31st, 2012 5:43pm (Jan 31st 2012) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    :welcome: Mary!

    Hmm, is she still acting normally? Eating, drinking, scratting, dust bathing, laying? What are her poops like? When was the last time your girls were wormed and checked for mites?

    If you haven't treated them yet you could start by looking around for some diatomaceous earth (DE for short) which is a natural product that helps get rid of external and some internal parasites (we use DE and Flubenvet for worming). You dust the girls with it, scatter it in their sleeping and bathing areas, and can even mix a little with their food. Signs of parasites are blood under the perches (run your finger under), mites or eggs at the base of the girls' feathers (usually near the vent or under the wings), worms in the poop or very odd-looking poo.

    Is she definitely picking them out herself? If she eating them? If she's eating her own feathers and/or has stopped laying it could be that she needs more calcium or protein. Try adding plain yoghurt, cheese and scrambled eggs to their diet. If she's doing it herself it could be boredom, especially if they are kept in a coop, so consider adding some mental stimulation 'toys' for them...this can be a hanging basket with treats in, hanging cauliflower / broccoli heads, apples to peck, a football, some mirrors, a tub with soil in that you can hide food in etc etc :smile:

    Sorry to bombard you with questions and information but hopefully some of it is helpful! Good luck :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthormaryb
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd, 2012 10:51am (Feb 3rd 2012)
    Hi Red,

    I'm new to all this (keeping chickens)(also the internet and hencam) so please help if I'm not corresponding in the correct way.

    Firstly, all my chicks seem to be behaving normally. Eating well, drinking, producing eggs etc. We feed them layers pellets, give them a handfull of corn once a day. We hang up cabbage, cauliflower etc. everyday. All their poo looks similar (dark with a little white) not runny. They were last wormed a couple of weeks ago. I'v checked them for mites and the coop for anything that could cause problems - nothing found so far. They are not kept in the coop all day - the run is attached and I open the pop hole at early light each day and they have the freedom to run about in an area approx. 10' x 8'. I check on them severel times a day - even in these sub. zero temperatures - because I love being with them.

    I will introduce Yoghurt, cheese etc. and see if there is any change. Also, I'll give them toys for their mental stimulation and hope it does the trick.

    Maybe, I'm just panicking a bit because the one that's off colour is my favourite.

    But thanks very much for your help. Best regards Mary:face-smile:
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd, 2012 5:48pm (Feb 3rd 2012)

    Keeper of the hens

    Sounds like you are a top chicken owner! If there isn't an obvious bald patch, or any scabs or sore bits I wouldn't worry.

    Oh! Also, I forgot to mention, but chickens moult once a year too, so if you haven't seen a moult yet it could possibly be that too :smile: