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What do my chickens feathers mean??

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
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A couple of them are like this. Is this due to the rooster?


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post #2 of 7

While this is a common pattern for "rooster damage" it does not necessarily mean it is the cause of the issue being noticed in your birds.   Are the hens in question "favorites" of the rooster in regards to who he mates the most?  Have you checked them (and the coop) for signs of external parasites?  Is your rooster a young, randy bird or an older, more gentlemanly boy?

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol Grey Mare View Post

While this is a common pattern for "rooster damage" it does not necessarily mean it is the cause of the issue being noticed in your birds.   Are the hens in question "favorites" of the rooster in regards to who he mates the most?  Have you checked them (and the coop) for signs of external parasites?  Is your rooster a young, randy bird or an older, more gentlemanly boy?


Idk if they are his favorites exactly but he's always on top of the ladies ever time I turn around. He's a young guy too. Their skin looks fine and not irritated where the feathers appear disheveled.


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post #4 of 7

Rooster treading is what is causing the disheveling. It happens to some hens no matter what the rooster to hen ratio is.

 

   40 waxing and waning free-range birds.
 I truly love animals, both male and female, large and small, regardless of how important humans may shallowly deem them.
I will always miss my Dovey Love.
 
 
 
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   40 waxing and waning free-range birds.
 I truly love animals, both male and female, large and small, regardless of how important humans may shallowly deem them.
I will always miss my Dovey Love.
 
 
 
Reply
post #5 of 7
Most likely it's from your rooster. As another poster said, rule out parasites. Then if your rooster doesn't cool off with a little more age, you can invest in some saddles for the hens that get real sad looking feathers.
post #6 of 7

While it does appear to be rooster damage, I've seen very similar looking feather damage from hens picking and biting at the back feathers of a lower ranking hen. It's a version of feather picking where the feathers are "chewed" or bitten instead of plucked out.

 

It's more than likely the reason for the damaged feathers you've shown us is due to rooster mating, but to be certain, you need to observe your flock over an hour or two. It does no good to try to advise when we really aren't certain what's taking place. You need to see with your own eyes how the damage is occurring, come back and report what you've seen, and then we can try to advise you.

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by azygous View Post
 

While it does appear to be rooster damage, I've seen very similar looking feather damage from hens picking and biting at the back feathers of a lower ranking hen. It's a version of feather picking where the feathers are "chewed" or bitten instead of plucked out.

 

It's more than likely the reason for the damaged feathers you've shown us is due to rooster mating, but to be certain, you need to observe your flock over an hour or two. It does no good to try to advise when we really aren't certain what's taking place. You need to see with your own eyes how the damage is occurring, come back and report what you've seen, and then we can try to advise you.

......a couple times a day for a week or more.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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