Does Growing Adult Feathers Hurt the Chicks?

shadow rabbit10

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 3, 2012
6,188
220
296
New Jersey
Hi,
I have a salmon Faverolle cockerel/pullet (he may be a roo, but I'm not 100% sure) who is 2 weeks old and really is getting his feathers in. My pullets are growing their feathers too, but theirs seem painless, and not noticeable. My poor cockerel has very long, pointy feathers growing in and it seems like he may be in pain. He is eating, drinking, walking, grooming himself, etc. fine, but his feathers seems to bother him. He also lays down a lot more than the others. When I grab him, or touch those feathers, he screeches. He also sleeps with his wings out a little bit, just so they don't touch his new feathers. He does not like being grabbed, you have to cup him in your hands for him to be comfortable. Do some birds have harder growth/molts than others? Is this the feathers causing his pain, or something else? I don't know what else it could be. He is fine other than the fact that he sleeps a lot. I think he just lays down to keep his pin feathers from being touched. Is there anything I can do to help him? I feel so bad for the poor little guy.
 

Baby Chick

Songster
7 Years
Feb 28, 2012
1,934
0
131
I have a cream that I use on the chickens skin & it works well. I have never heard of this before. I will give you the name of the cream (I can't know though because there is a storm happening & the cream is outside) but I will PM it to you!
 

aggiemae

Songster
7 Years
Mar 18, 2012
1,408
136
216
Salem Oregon
I don't think it's very common in chickens but cysts (small fluid or blood filled blisters) at the base of the new feathers is a sign of ingrown feather(s). I don't know how to treat but at least it's something you can look for
 
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shadow rabbit10

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 3, 2012
6,188
220
296
New Jersey
I don't think it's very common in chickens but cysts (small fluid or blood filled blisters) at the base of the new feathers is a sign of ingrown feather(s). I don't know how to treat but at least it's something you can look for
they don't look like cysts. The skin isn't red or anything, he/she just has really big feathers. I think he/she is feeling a little better today, but still seems a bit irritated.
 

aggiemae

Songster
7 Years
Mar 18, 2012
1,408
136
216
Salem Oregon
Come to think of it, our Pinky Pie was really off for the first two days and has been quite touchy since he found out he isn't a lady.
 

janinepeters

Songster
10 Years
Jun 9, 2009
906
80
153
I don't think it's his feathers bothering him. Growing feathers is a lot like growing hair, something that one doesn't really notice. All of the behaviors you describe sound normal to me, except the need for more rest than the other chicks. That is a nonspecific sign which could indicate any number of things, or could be insignificant. I often have one a little less energetic than the others, and often they grow out of it and we forget all about it. If it worsens, however, there may be something wrong, and you will have to watch for other symptoms that might lead you to the root of the problem.

Many chicks hate being grabbed or touched. It is a natural instinct shaped by millions of years of evolution, and not yet undone by breeding. It will serve him well of he ever gets to free range where he may be exposed to predators.

Sleeping with wings out a little bit is also normal, but if he and/or other chicks are standing with wings open, they may be too hot.
 
Last edited:

shadow rabbit10

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 3, 2012
6,188
220
296
New Jersey
I don't think it's his feathers bothering him. Growing feathers is a lot like growing hair, something that one doesn't really notice. All of the behaviors you describe sound normal to me, except the need for more rest than the other chicks. That is a nonspecific sign which could indicate any number of things, or could be insignificant. I often have one a little less energetic than the others, and often they grow out of it and we forget all about it. If it worsens, however, there may be something wrong, and you will have to watch for other symptoms that might lead you to the root of the problem.

Many chicks hate being grabbed or touched. It is a natural instinct shaped by millions of years of evolution, and not yet undone by breeding. It will serve him well of he ever gets to free range where he may be exposed to predators.

Sleeping with wings out a little bit is also normal, but if he and/or other chicks are standing with wings open, they may be too hot.
It's only him/her doing it. It's not like he sleeps all day, he just sits down more.
 

janinepeters

Songster
10 Years
Jun 9, 2009
906
80
153
Then just watch and wait. If he/she is growing and feathering out well, he is probably fine and happy. I wouldn't worry about feathers hurting or anything else unless the need for sleep seems to increase. They should need less and less sleep as they mature.
 
Apr 23, 2018
46
78
69
Oklahoma
Hi,
I have a salmon Faverolle cockerel/pullet (he may be a roo, but I'm not 100% sure) who is 2 weeks old and really is getting his feathers in. My pullets are growing their feathers too, but theirs seem painless, and not noticeable. My poor cockerel has very long, pointy feathers growing in and it seems like he may be in pain. He is eating, drinking, walking, grooming himself, etc. fine, but his feathers seems to bother him. He also lays down a lot more than the others. When I grab him, or touch those feathers, he screeches. He also sleeps with his wings out a little bit, just so they don't touch his new feathers. He does not like being grabbed, you have to cup him in your hands for him to be comfortable. Do some birds have harder growth/molts than others? Is this the feathers causing his pain, or something else? I don't know what else it could be. He is fine other than the fact that he sleeps a lot. I think he just lays down to keep his pin feathers from being touched. Is there anything I can do to help him? I feel so bad for the poor little guy.
I know this is an old thread, but did your chick do ok? Did it turn out to be a roo? I have a chick doing the same thing right now. All the others feathers came in very fast and pretty, but one has way less feathers than the others and they seem thicker and not as pretty.
 

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