Beard and muffs disappearing!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chick4chix, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. chick4chix

    chick4chix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have four EE's, three of which had nice, full beard and muffs. For the past several weeks, they have been picking each other's beard and muffs to the point that they have sparce chins and almost bald (only under the beak). Will they grow it back? It doesn't appear to be aggression or anything like that- it's almost like they are doing it to each other for grooming- like they had a messy snack (something wet) then the others will pick off the yougurt or whatever and along comes the feathers with it. The one who is getting "groomed" stands there and lets them do it. Has anyone else had this problem and will their muffs grow back? I miss their fuzzy faces. [​IMG]
    thanks in advance:)
     
  2. MakNat

    MakNat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Something similiar... One of my EE hens got cuckle burs in her beard and one muff. It was horrible I had t cut them out and it was so close to her skin in some spots I had to pluck a few feathers.. She looked like she had a VERY BAD hair cut!! anyway that was a couple of weeks ago and now she looks all puffed up again! They'll grow back. I wonder too, why they are picking at eachother???
     
  3. chick4chix

    chick4chix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I don't know- I figured they were eating leftovers- ha- but I'm missing their fuzzy faces- maybe I should only give dry treats for awhile- no more yogurt and wet stuff! THey get their faces completely wet with it- even on top of their heads they love it so. [​IMG]
     
  4. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    My 3 EE hens & rooster have done the same thing since last year. They just molted, but I don't expect the muffs will last long!
     
  5. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    they could be molting as well as "grooming" I noticed the neck and head area getting very sparce on some of my chooks. [​IMG]
     
  6. chick4chix

    chick4chix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I didn't think they would molt the first season- do they? My six girls are all just 30 weeks old, and have only all just started laying (I might still have one hold-out since I have never had 6 eggs in one day.

    cindy in PA - Your rooster does this too? Do they do it peacefully? Mine almost act like the are enjoying the picking it's the weirdest thing- they hold real still and let the others "clean" their beards. Do you notice it after a messy food or is it all the time? just curious - thanks
     
  7. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

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    Picking can be cause by many factors:

    Left over food in the muff and beard, mites/lice, boredom or crowded conditions.

    Your birds should not be molting at this time.
     
  8. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    no probably not then, I guess I thought they were older. Mine generally dont go through molt till after the first year. maybe it is the food making all those fluffy face feathers taste yummy [​IMG]
     
  9. chick4chix

    chick4chix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    pips&peeps :

    Picking can be cause by many factors:

    Left over food in the muff and beard, mites/lice, boredom or crowded conditions.

    Your birds should not be molting at this time.

    Thanks pips and peeps- I thought they were eating leftovers- at least that's what it appears to be. Should I wipe off their beards/muffs with a damp towel after they've eaten yogurt or something else wet? My other thought was to not feed these foods - but they LOVE them. They splatter it everywhere- even on top of each others heads where they pick it off from too- but from there- they don't seem to pull out the feathers- only under the beak.
    If they had mites or lice (I have not seen any evidence of this) but wouldn't the feather loss be all over the bird and not just in one spot?​
     
  10. chick4chix

    chick4chix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks pips and peeps- I thought they were eating leftovers- at least that's what it appears to be. Should I wipe off their beards/muffs with a damp towel after they've eaten yogurt or something else wet? My other thought was to not feed these foods - but they LOVE them. They splatter it everywhere- even on top of each others heads where they pick it off from too- but from there- they don't seem to pull out the feathers- only under the beak.
    If they had mites or lice (I have not seen any evidence of this) but wouldn't the feather loss be all over the bird and not just in one spot?

    P.S. They are not crowded and I keep their run, roost, nest boxes etc all clean and dry with fresh bedding sprinkled with DE every week when I change it out.
     

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