Chicken alopecia is a fairly common problem in bird yards.
Often, the owners can not understand why their pets are bald.
It is impossible to give an unambiguous answer to this question, because there may be several reasons, and most often, a couple of negative factors lead to this effect. Let’s take a closer look at this question.
Symptoms and signs
Identify this disease will help to determine the order of the fall of feathers. Thus, first, the chicken loses the feather cover to the back and neck, followed by the tail, chest, and belly.
It can go so far that the bird will remain completely naked. There is also often an inflammation of the skin and bruising. Also, the feathers not only fall out but also become faded and inelastic. It may also fall out and down. This disease is more susceptible to chickens of meat (broilers) and meat breeds, but this can happen with layers.
If you notice these symptoms in your pets, you should start looking for a cause immediately, so that you can eliminate it as soon as possible.
Chickens can become bald if they eat beef thyroid gland for a long time.
Why is it so important to detect and correct this problem in time? The fact is that with the loss of feathers, chickens lose their eggs, they lose weight, and the risk of various unpleasant infections increases. Cannibalism is also often observed in the herd – birds splatter each other to blood, and this creates favorable conditions for the penetration of pathogens.
However, we should not confuse alopecia with seasonal molting of hens. In natural molting feathers do not lose their elasticity and silkiness, and only the lower layers of the feather cover fall out, like undercoat in mammals. If you noticed that the bird began to “drop” large upper feathers, it is a reason to sound the alarm.
Reasons to chicken with no feathers
Of course, alopecia or alopecia can be a consequence of various diseases, but most often this phenomenon occurs in very different cases:
- if the wrong diet is formulated;
- when the conditions of detention are violated;
- during seasonal molting;
- in case of parasite infestation.
How to cure?
Correct the diet
Experience shows that the most frequent cause is diet disturbance. Like humans, chicken requires food that is rich in various vitamins and minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, cystine, potassium). However, this problem may arise not only from poor quality food but also when the chickens “do not finish”, so the hosts need to make sure that the birds are always fed. It is possible to calculate the required portion experimentally.
The following tips will help you to correct the diet of domestic chickens:
- Add important vitamins and minerals to your food (vitamin and mineral complexes for chickens can be easily found in any branch store or pet store);
- at each meal add Glauber salt – 2-3 mg for each individual, 1 mg for each chicken (salt);
- give the birds feather meal – it will help to replenish the cystine, which is necessary for the qualitative formation of the feather cover). It can be cooked by yourself, it is enough just to collect and grind the fallen feathers, you can also use the horns and hooves of cattle for this purpose;
- in large quantities, add greenery to the food – in summer, free walking will help, and in winter – herbal flour;
- do not forget about important trace elements – sulfuric acid manganese (6-8 mg per bird) and potassium iodide (3-4 mg per bird);
- if alopecia is fatal and birds are bald not by days but by hours, stock up on vitamin B12 – it can be injected both intramuscularly and together with food. Such measures will help to quickly restore the pen cover, as well as improve the amino acid metabolism;
- increase the dose of calcium, as it plays an important role in the formation of not only feathers but also bones and beak. For this purpose, it is recommended to give chickens plaster, chalk;
- to restore the level of trace elements in the body of birds, you can drink them with a weak solution of manganese or iodine (once a day after a day);
- reduce the amount of fat in the food and increase the amount of protein.
These activities will help to quickly adjust the diet of broilers and layers and restore their fountain cover in the shortest possible time.
Improve the conditions of detention
Often, along with improper and poor nutrition, alopecia is caused by poor conditions. Often, birds suffer from a lack of vitamin D, which is produced by being in the sun. This is especially true for those owners who keep chickens in cages. If it is not possible to organize a walk at least for an hour or two per day, the poultry house must be equipped with special UV lamps that will provide the production of vitamin D. The installation of large windows can partially solve this problem.
Also in the hen house should be regularly cleaned and disinfected, which will help get rid of parasites, mud, mice, and harmful ammonia fumes, which are the result of the decomposition of waste birdlife. Not only the walls and floors need disinfection, but also all equipment of the poultry house – nests, perch, feeders, and drinkers, because the pathogens may be there.
Another very important point regarding the conditions of chickens is the installation of ventilation. It will provide a regular supply of fresh air, will remove an unpleasant odor. There are several ways to make quality ventilation.
Get rid of parasites
Another equally important problem, which may be a consequence of alopecia, is parasite infestation. Thus, chickens can be affected by the following pests: chickens molting
- chicken mites;
- mice and rats.
Chicken mites are active at night – it is at night and you should check chickens for infection. Ticks and Menomonies form a substance similar to absorbent cotton – here they live and breed. If such a “nest” is found, it must be destroyed immediately. Menomonie should be searched at the base of feathers. Also, all blood-sucking parasites, as well as Menomonies leave traces of life (excrement) on the body of chickens – they can be found on the skin of chickens by spreading feathers.
As a preventive measure, it is recommended to lubricate the base of the feathers with vegetable oil.
Also, get rid of bloodsuckers, and Menomonies will help ash baths – for this large container should be filled with ash and sand. In it, the birds will be able to swim, clean feathers, and get rid of parasites. Also for better effect in such baths, you can add diatom soil, which is easily found in online stores.
Often a beautiful feather cover of chickens spoils mice and rats. Try to fill all the gaps, and even better, make a concrete floor in the chicken coop – then rodents will not be able to penetrate the home of your pets.
How can you prevent a problem in the future?
If you have coped with this problem and your chickens are fluffy and beautiful again, or you want to prevent alopecia in your poultry house, a few simple rules will help you to do this:
- properly feed their birds – the food should be enriched with vitamins and minerals, be high-quality and fresh, chickens should receive it in sufficient quantity;
- adhere to the rule of cleanliness in the poultry house – equip it with everything you need, carry out regular cleaning and disinfection;
- worry about the hygiene of the birds themselves – install an ash bath in which chickens can get rid of parasites;
- properly care for laying hens during molting – provide the birds with peace, comfort, and sufficient quality food.
Observance of these simple rules will help your birds stay beautiful and healthy throughout life.