Chicken lost feathers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by General Cuddles, Mar 16, 2018.

  1. General Cuddles

    General Cuddles In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2018
    We’ve had 5 hens and a rooster for 1 year. I thought the hens were molting, but now I'm not sure. The feathers are gone from around each hens' vent, and the feathers on their backs toward their tails do not look good. I've checked for mites and lice and found none. I try to let them free range for 1 hr a day. The chicken run has sand & a large part of the sand became hard due to rain, & I've tried loosening it with a hoe. Could the hard sand cause the feathers to be pulled out of their bottoms?
  2. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

    Jan 19, 2018
    SE Wisconsin
    My Coop
    I don't think the sand is doing it.
    The bad feathers on their backs are almost certainly from the rooster. You do not have enough hens for that rooster. You actually have half the recommended number of hens. It should be a ratio of 10 hens to 1 rooster to avoid over breeding.
    As for around the vent, that is most likely mites even if you can't see them. Once they start pulling feathers, it means that the hens are trying to self correct the mites problem. At that point the mites would have migrated to other areas of the birds and become harder to find.
    They could also be pulling feathers due to a protein deficiency. Feathers are almost all protein. What feed are you giving them, and what is the protein percentage?

    I'd still suggest treating for mites.
    Phoenixheart14 likes this.
  3. Phoenixheart14

    Phoenixheart14 Chirping

    Mar 15, 2018
    How often does the rooster mount them? The loss of feathers on their back makes me think it's because of the roo.
    Cyprus likes this.

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