Can stress cause feather loss?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Fowl-Language, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. Fowl-Language

    Fowl-Language Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2008
    Longview, WA
    My sweet Betsy has been dripping her beautiful feathers all over the yard today. Her skin looks clear, no evidence of mites, and she's the only one with this problem. The ends of her wing feathers and some on her back almost look as if they've been chewed on, they're all raggedy. My senior hen picks on her, running her off and trying to prevent her from coming into the coop at night.

    Could being the low chicken on the totem pole be causing her feather loss?

    Thanks!!
    Anthea
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well, ratty feathers could be end of summer wear, and loss of feathers around this time is normal for moult. Don't be too surprised if you wake up, looks like a feather pillow exploded, and all you have left in the pen is a chicken shaped pin cushion.
     
  3. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    I think she is most likely just molting. It is that time of year for them. Some birds molt harder than others and it is a stressful period for them. I don't think there is anything to worry about, all chickens go through it about twice a year. Just incase, you may want to watch her so that the other hen doesn't do any damage.
     
  4. Fowl-Language

    Fowl-Language Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2008
    Longview, WA
    I was under the (mistaken?) impression they don't molt their first year...she's only 6 months old. I might have to sew up a couple pillows real quick...I've got plenty to stuff them with!
    Thanks for the advice.
     
  5. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    I don't know if age depends on molting. Mine are almost 8 weeks and i've already seen feathers all over the place. They're not bald, but there are a lot of feathers.
     
  6. sovia

    sovia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 4, 2008
    Black Hills of SD
    I had the same issue with my 6-month old pullets, but it turned out that a few of my hens are picking feathers. It hasn't been good. I recommend that you spend a bit of time (at least 30 minutes to an hour) just sitting quietly and observing your flock. Hopefully, this is not the case for you.
     

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