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chickens losing feathers on back

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by raisingchickybirds4H, May 9, 2010.

  1. raisingchickybirds4H

    raisingchickybirds4H New Egg

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    May 9, 2010
    Hi! My son and I started raising chickens April 2009. This year, we are noticing that a few have large patches of feathers gone off their backs. Some have a few gone where the roosters have mounted them, but a few have a lot more gone on their lower backs. What is causing this? Is it anything with diet? They are still laying as great as before. Is is hens pecking each other? The gnats are horrible right now and the chickens stay inside voluntarily to avoid them. I didn't know if maybe that started the pecking of each other. It's not all the hens. Just a few of the golden comets. Thanks for any help you can give me.
     
  2. Hillbilly Hen

    Hillbilly Hen Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello and [​IMG]
    They could be molting, mine are missing feathers on their backs too and some are molting but with some the roo is a little too rough with them.
     
  3. raisingchickybirds4H

    raisingchickybirds4H New Egg

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    May 9, 2010
    Where does a moult usually start? On the head and work its way down? We have 3 roosters and 13 hens.
     
  4. Hillbilly Hen

    Hillbilly Hen Overrun With Chickens

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    I really couldn't say since it has been a long time since I have seen it myself. My girls are just a year old now. Maybe someone will be able to answer that for you. I do have two hens that are my rooster's favorites and they look a little worse for the wear as they are missing a lot of feathers on their backs and their heads.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Three roosters to thirteen hens is way too many. One rooster for thirteen hens would be a better ratio. I think your hens are being severely overmated. I would either rehome or seperate out two of the roosters. The hens will remain naked until they moult- probably late summer to early fall.
     
  6. msdoolittle

    msdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd agree...that's a LOT of roos for those hens. I actually completely separated my nekkid hens from an overaggressive rooster until they fully feathered back out. (I ended up selling the roo anyway). Even as 'nekkid' as they were, the feathers did grow back but it took a couple of months for them to fully go through the molting cycle.
     

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