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Neck feathers stripped or cut

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I've read several similar questions here, but I'm curious if anyone can give me some insight.  My chickens are all about 8 or 9 months old, so they are not molting.  One of the hens, a silver-laced wyandotte, has lost most of her neck feathers, though the quills are still there.  I see no sign of mites or lice, and I've never noticed any aggression from the other 5 hens.  Is there any other possibility I'm not thinking of?  She seems perfectly healthy otherwise.  Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 3

Those are new feathers growing in.  The sheath will fleck off in grooming once the feathers grow in fully.  She may not be going through a full blown molt, but she definitely lost some feathers and now they are growing back in.  Birds lose feathers all the time.  Sometimes they go through mini-molts and lose patches of damaged feathers in clumps.  They could have gotten picked off by her flock mates, or they could have gotten knocked off mechanically.  Either way, in the absence of bugs, I would not worry overmuch about it.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Interesting -- thank you so much!  That's a relief.  Now if I can just figure out how to protect them from the hawk that is terrorizing them.

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