Chicken feather loss : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have a small flock of white rocks and my best laying hen has been losing her feathers for the past 4 months to the point where there is nothing left but on her neck and head. Her skin is becoming crusty and scabby and there is no sign of any new feathers coming in. She still lays daily and the rest of the flock is unaffected. I have also noticed that her legs are scaley and white. She has been treated repeatedly for mites to no avail. Winter is almost upon us and I'm concerned what to do and if some day soon I will find her frozen to death. I might add that the flock is allowed to free range 3 to 5 hours a day. Any suggestions as to what I can do to save her?

-- Doc Petersen (, October 23, 1999


You say she is your best laying hen. Do you have a rooster who thinks she is his best laying hen? My roosters pull the hens head and neck feathers out on only a few of my hens. I presume these are their favorites. I had some chickens that someone had given me that had the white scaly legs. I was told it was a kind of mite and could be cured by coating the chickens legs and feet with vaseline once a day. I don't know if this works. I felt it was easier to get rid of the chickens and get new ones than catch twelve chickens and coat their feet and legs each day.

-- Lani Jacobs (, October 26, 1999.

I, too, have had roosters and hens with this problem. I washed the legs in a soap and vinegar bath and applied a mita-cide, vaseline mixture with great results. You might check her/his roost and see if you need to wash and disinfect that also. If you think the rooster is a culprit, put her in a cage for a few weeks and let her heal. You can also use garden sulfur and vaseline on her. Good luck!

-- sissy s. (, October 26, 1999.

My "bare" laying hens recovered miraculously when I gave my rooster away!

-- Barbara Crockett (, October 27, 1999.

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