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Can anyone help me? One of our hybrids, who's about 2 years old has developed lots of bald patches. She's not moulting. They've been there for several months now, and she's not re-feathering. It's mainly on her wings, her breast and around her vent. She's looking pretty ropey! Apart from that she seems to be happy. She's eating well and laying well and is alert and interested. I'm worried she may get sunburnt once the summer comes!

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Have you seen her being picked on by the other girls?

A couple of my hens have just developed bald patches where I assume they've been pecking themselves because we discovered they have lice - so it might be worth checking for lice and their coop for red mites etc.

If I remember correctly, hens are attracted to the colour red, so it could be that your others are feather picking where they see the bald patches making things worse. You could try some of the violet spray and anti-peck spray too? That might help a little.

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Thanks, AndyRoo. Actually, they did have lice recently (first time in 20 years), but we've treated them and they seem to have gone. I don't think she's been picked on by the others, but anti-peck spray may be worth a shot just in case. 

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Her skin does look very red and sore. Like Andy says, check her for lice or mites and observe her and her interaction with the others. Might well she started plucking for some reason, and the others are being triggered by it.

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Looks like she's being plucked by the others or herself. Lice or depluming mites could be the reason, I'd treat them with Ivermectin 1%

Sudocrem will help sore skin and it might take a while for the feathers to grow back

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18 minutes ago, Lewis said:

 I'd treat them with Ivermectin 1%

Thanks for that Lewis.

My vet recommended Frontline Spray but she said to do it when it was warm because the alcohol would chill them.

This looks much better.

Do you put the one drop on the back of their necks like you do dogs ?

Can you do it any time ?

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Frontline is quite toxic to birds (a lot more compared to mammals) so have to be careful with the dosing.

Yeah on the skin behind the neck, can be done any time of year

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Thanks everyone. We'll check for lice again tomorrow. I'm loathe to use Ivermectin on her. I know our vet isn't keen and as I have health problems I don't want to risk eating eggs that might cause problems. So I'll see if we can sort it out another way... 

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Posted (edited)

Could be mites (see advice above for treating) I would watch out of pecking and prepare to fit bumpa bits to the suspect/s

Edited by The Dogmother

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11 hours ago, Lewis said:

Frontline is quite toxic to birds (a lot more compared to mammals) so have to be careful with the dosing.

Yeah on the skin behind the neck, can be done any time of year

Excellent, thank you, I will order some 😊

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One of my girls goes mostly bald every year - at first I thought she was being plucked by the others and fitted bumpa bits. Then I thought maybe lice but nothing. I finally worked out last year that she starts losing feathers when she comes into lay in early April and will only re-grow them once she stops laying September/October time. I'm boosting vitamin supplement in their water at the moment to try and keep her feathered but they are starting to go again starting round her neck and chest 🙄She is the only one - the rest are fine!

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1 hour ago, rachel84 said:

One of my girls goes mostly bald every year - at first I thought she was being plucked by the others and fitted bumpa bits. Then I thought maybe lice but nothing. I finally worked out last year that she starts losing feathers when she comes into lay in early April and will only re-grow them once she stops laying September/October time. I'm boosting vitamin supplement in their water at the moment to try and keep her feathered but they are starting to go again starting round her neck and chest 🙄She is the only one - the rest are fine!

It would be interesting to see a photo of her - if she is losing them around her head and neck, then she might be wearing the feathers off by reaching through netting, or on a feeder/drinker. You might need to boost her Biotin levels; try either adding dried Biotin to their feed or putting nettex's Vit Boost in their water.

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Posted (edited)

I'll see if I can get a photo of her later - she is looking patchy further back now as well. It is like a long moult - starts at the front and works back. They currently have Lifeguard in their water once a week which does have Biotin in (just checked). Is this ok?

I should have said, in previous years she has gone more or less completely bald apart from most of her long tail feathers and wings and patches here and there so not wearing off the feathers.

Edited by rachel84

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