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Feather loss question

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone.  My chickens completed (or at least I thought they had) their Oct 5-start molt and started laying eggs intermittently Dec 4.  They've stopped laying again a couple weeks later.  They look absolutely beautiful with fluffy butts and everyone has a tail now (they had a bad start at another home).

 

They've been confined to their sleeping coop and caged area for several days now due to the snow here in Colorado.  They haven't been outside in about a week.  The 4 of them have a 10x10 covered and tarped run which they've spent long periods in before.  But the last 4 days, the floor of the roost coop and the floor of the "cage" has been covered with little pin feathers.

 

Is this normal, you guys?

 

I've searched the archives and didn't see anything particular about this.  I'm sorry if I missed it.

 

I didn't know how long they go on to lose pin feathers after their molt apparently had stopped.

 

Their "cage" has places to dustbathe, their food and water, straw bales they hop up on and 2 roosts that span the corners.  I bury their food, hand out sunflower heads, and give them a daily treat of mw, a grain treat, apple, maybe a scrambled egg or two to keep them as entertained as I can.

 

They have good appetites, their poop is kind of sparse in the coop overnight, but with confinement, I've always found they eat less than when out in their big yard.

 

They're interested in things, don't seem ill, no parasites that I can locate, their roost coop is cleaned daily and I check the roosts daily as I have to move them to clean the poop boards.  Their wood shavings bedding was replaced at Thanksgiving.

 

Tonight I have the heat lamp on since it's -14 outside (13 in their roost coop).

 

That's about all the info I have.

 

Thanks!!!!

Fairly NEW to chicken keeping; inherited care of 2 flocks during the Colorado floods in September '13.  Became addicted to chickens, got my own coop, and now have 2 GL Wyandottes, 2 Black somethings, 4 Rescued Greyhounds. and a cat.  Retired certified veterinary technician still doing some relief work.  LOVING having chickens.
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Fairly NEW to chicken keeping; inherited care of 2 flocks during the Colorado floods in September '13.  Became addicted to chickens, got my own coop, and now have 2 GL Wyandottes, 2 Black somethings, 4 Rescued Greyhounds. and a cat.  Retired certified veterinary technician still doing some relief work.  LOVING having chickens.
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post #2 of 4

Maybe some of the chickens are still doing some molting. Often when they are confined, they may peck at each other, but it sounds as though you are doing a lot to keep them entertained with food and places for activity. 

 

If all else seems OK, and you can tell, then I wouldn't worry too much about the pin feathers. Just be sure you keep them busy. They are a lot like kids. If they get bored, they start picking on each other. 

 

Geri

Geri in Northern California
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Geri in Northern California
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post #3 of 4

What do you mean by 'pin feathers'?

Pin feathers are when the new feathers just start growing in again and they look like pins or spikes....they generally don't 'fall out'.

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
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post
 

What do you mean by 'pin feathers'?

Pin feathers are when the new feathers just start growing in again and they look like pins or spikes....they generally don't 'fall out'.

Oops!  Missed this question....they were the little fluffy feathers that seem to populate the butt ends of them....

Fairly NEW to chicken keeping; inherited care of 2 flocks during the Colorado floods in September '13.  Became addicted to chickens, got my own coop, and now have 2 GL Wyandottes, 2 Black somethings, 4 Rescued Greyhounds. and a cat.  Retired certified veterinary technician still doing some relief work.  LOVING having chickens.
Reply
Fairly NEW to chicken keeping; inherited care of 2 flocks during the Colorado floods in September '13.  Became addicted to chickens, got my own coop, and now have 2 GL Wyandottes, 2 Black somethings, 4 Rescued Greyhounds. and a cat.  Retired certified veterinary technician still doing some relief work.  LOVING having chickens.
Reply
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