Can anyone tell me why my chicken has a complete bald bottom! its a patch around 2" diameter?
Moulting-a similar thing happened to one of mine12 months ago-guess not laying either?
Other than that is she OK?
Hi Sotongeoff, I noticed it yesterday for the first time, I have 4 hens in total and got 4 eggs Monday, 2 yesterday and 3 today which is quite normal at the moment.If she is laying it would be usual to get 4 tomorrow. Because there are 4 of them, I'm never sure which has laid and which hasn't. She seems OK other than the bald patch.
I did read on another site that she could be 'eggbound' which could be fatal!
I think egg bound is a slight myth that we attribute to anything that goes wrong
Are the others pecking her-you can get a spray to stop that if they are- they always detect a weakness.
You should notice a lot of feathers lying about if she is moulting-are there?
When I cleaned them on Sunday I didn't notice any feathers, I haven't noticed any pecking either. I will keep an eye on them tomorrow and come back to you. Thank you
If you've checked that she doesn't have any mites, then she's probably moulting (some of them do it in patches). I'd up the protein-level in her feed as she'll need it to grow new feathers. The others will probably follow suit. Their egg production is likely to drop off as they moult and grow new feathers, but when they've got their new plumage and the day length really lengthens and the weather gets warmer the egg laying rate will pick up again.
If she does have mites then a lot of poultry keepers use Frontline (puppy/kitten strength) on the back of the next only and treat all hens at the same time - I must add that as I understand it, it is not licensed for use on chickens in the UK at the present time and you may prefer to seek advice from a vet who specialises in poultry. Advice on withdrawing eggs when treating with Frontline is ambiguous - you may like to look on some poultry fora - there's info here http://chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=5250.0
When I kept poultry I found it helped to keep a large shallow container of dry sand in the henhouse during the winter, as the hens' usual dustbaths were too wet to use because of the weather. The dustbath and preening helps the chickens rid themselves of mites etc.
If the hens do have mites then you also need to treat a wooden henhouse thoroughly with a proprietory treatment to get rid of the infestation.
I'm fairly new to this and have not had to do anything so far apart from the general looking after them. I'll of had them a year in April. The hen house was new so its not been treated as yet, was planning on doing it as soon as the weather picks up. I've not treated them for mites yet either although I do add mite powder on every clean. Will I be able to see them clearly?
How do I up the protein level? They have laying pellets and scraps from the kitchen, ie; salad, veg, bread and maybe a little cooked pasta from time to time. I'll add the tray of sand as its a bit of a mud bath in there at the moment!
am on the kindle so can't go into to much detail as the keyboard is tiny
If it is mites they feed on blood- look under the perches for red stains
To up the protein level increase the layers pellets and cut down on the other stuff for a while. Layers pellets are designed as complete nutrition, so if they fill up on pasta and bread they're cutting down on their protein. Fine if they're in full health and the weather's warm, but in the wet and cold winter weather they're probably not getting much protein from worms and bugs in the soil (I presume they're free range, or at least with access to worms and bugs )
It's a while since I've kept poultry (used to have a laying flock of pure breeds (Marans, Rhode Island Reds and Welsummers) along with a load of cross-bred bantams which I used to hatch the pure-bred eggs (I had a different type of cockerel each year, one year Maran, the next Welsummer and so on). So anyway, I'm a bit out of touch with which wormng and mite treatments are allowed nowadays so if I were you I'd locate a vet who is knowledgeable about laying hens (not all are!) and check out some websites http://www.thepoultrygarden.com/phpbb/ this is another good one.
I love chickens - enjoy yours
Thank you so much, great advice! I love my girlies too and yes, they are free range.