Do chickens shed feathers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lulumammato2, May 14, 2011.

  1. lulumammato2

    lulumammato2 In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2011
    Tulsa, OK
    I've got 4 BR and one EE, I think, and it seems like there's feathers everywhere but the chickens look fine. They are about 3 months old and most of the feathers are in their nesting boxes\\sleepng quarters (I just read another post that says i'm not supposed to let them do that, oops) Should I be worried or is this just normal?

  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    It's called molting but I think 3 months is kind of young. What are you feeding them? They may not be getting enough protein.
  3. lulumammato2

    lulumammato2 In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2011
    Tulsa, OK
    Quote:They're still on starter but i've got to go pick up more tomorrow, should I supplement or change to layer?
  4. savingpurple

    savingpurple Songster

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    I will have to add that mine are about 2 months old and there are feathers all over too. I have them on Dumor 20% starter/grower. They all seem healthy, active, and having fun. I am too:) But if this is not normal, I need to know just as the OP?
  5. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Some shedding is normal. If they look fine then maybe it just seems like they are shedding a lot since they like to stay in a somewhat confined area and all the feathers are together. I actually don't think they are molting yet if they look normal.

    They are definitely getting enough protein on starter. The place where I get my feed (Tractor Supply) had a formulation for the period of time between starter and layer with 15% protein and no calcium. Its caller grower (Dumor). Various threads I've read said not to feed layer until they actually start laying eggs because the extra calcium is not great for their development before 18 weeks old. If all they have is a choice between starter and layer then get starter, but feel free to add some rolled oats or other grains and veggies or greens for treats.
    Last edited: May 14, 2011

  6. PatriotM

    PatriotM Hatching

    May 14, 2011
    I thought about posting the same question. My chickens are 10 weeks old and they seem to shed a lot of feathers too. All the chickens look healthy and happy - they are eating and drinking well and seem alert and active.
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    DH just commented the other day on the huge number of feathers littering the coop floor. My boys love to collect the pretty feathers. THe girls are about 3 months now; and I did read they the girls actually feather in 2x by the time they are adults. This would explain the huge number of feathers scattered about! THe SLW now look like pretty girls in their finest clothes--they were not like this at the first feathering. This is way prettier so I do think there is more than one feathering in.
  8. SunnyCalifornia

    SunnyCalifornia Songster

    Oct 8, 2010
    Escondido CA
    My 6 month old roos have been shedding constantly for the last few months, but they look better than ever at the moment. They've even lost significant tail feathers, only to grow beautiful new ones in right away. I have been giving them starter food up until the last 6 weeks or so, when they moved in with their hens. From what I've been told here on the forum, it can be normal. If they look like they are pecking or feather eating, then yes, up the protein, and separate the culprits. I've had that situation as well, and turkey starter worked just fine for that extra protein boost for the short term. Now I'm supplementing with more treats like mealworms, so that I don't have that issue again.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by