Down to a tail feather

FaelynnFarms

In the Brooder
Dec 2, 2021
5
2
14
New Jersey
My Rhode Island Red is about 16 weeks old and while her tail was never very thick she is down to one sad feather, but no bald patches. . I thought at first it may have been one of the other girls but I spend a fair amount of time around them and there is not any excessive or aggressive amount of pecking, usually they give each other some neck pecks around snacks. No mites… and she seems otherwise very healthy..Kind of out of ideas of what is going on… I am including some pictures. Any ideas??
 

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Jazzyfresh

In the Brooder
Nov 30, 2021
9
36
37
I've never had this sort of problem, but this is what my book ( Chicken Health Handbook, by Gail Damerow. ) says on loss of tail feathers.

"tail-feather picking is especially common in growing birds, when new feathers filled with blood attract pickers before other plumage grows in to cover the area. But it can start at any time, triggered by crowding, lack of exercise, irritation due to parasites, or low protein diet and other than nutritional deficiencies. Picked birds must continually grow new feathers, causing the same stress reactions associated with molting including a drop in laying.
Feather lost doesn't necessarily indicate feather picking. Layers often have broken or missing feathers, especially on their necks and tails, rubbed off on feeders and nests. The annual molt also causes feather loss. Some birds drop and replace their feathers gradually, others lose many feathers at a time. During the molt, encourage better growth and discouraged feather picking bye increasing dietary protein."


Hope that helps
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,988
29,802
952
Germany
She is just going through the last of her several juvenile molts, nothing to worry about.

You can help with the new feather growth by providing some animal protein like curd cheese or scrambled eggs.
By the time the tail will have grown in, she will soon start to lay.
 

FaelynnFarms

In the Brooder
Dec 2, 2021
5
2
14
New Jersey
She is just going through the last of her several juvenile molts, nothing to worry about.

You can help with the new feather growth by providing some animal protein like curd cheese or scrambled eggs.
By the time the tail will have grown in, she will soon start to lay.
I guess my concern just sits in the fact that none of my other ladies seem to be having the issue. But the RIR breed seem to mature early. I will hard boil some eggs see if that works. I have some vitamins that I was giving when one of the girls ran head first into the wire mesh and gave herself wry neck hopefully that will help also. They are still on chick feed for a few more weeks and that is 20% protein. Thank you for the advice. I suppose it could be said I am a little nervous as I am a first time chicken owner.
 

FaelynnFarms

In the Brooder
Dec 2, 2021
5
2
14
New Jersey
I've never had this sort of problem, but this is what my book ( Chicken Health Handbook, by Gail Damerow. ) says on loss of tail feathers.

"tail-feather picking is especially common in growing birds, when new feathers filled with blood attract pickers before other plumage grows in to cover the area. But it can start at any time, triggered by crowding, lack of exercise, irritation due to parasites, or low protein diet and other than nutritional deficiencies. Picked birds must continually grow new feathers, causing the same stress reactions associated with molting including a drop in laying.
Feather lost doesn't necessarily indicate feather picking. Layers often have broken or missing feathers, especially on their necks and tails, rubbed off on feeders and nests. The annual molt also causes feather loss. Some birds drop and replace their feathers gradually, others lose many feathers at a time. During the molt, encourage better growth and discouraged feather picking bye increasing dietary protein."


Hope that helps
I've never had this sort of problem, but this is what my book ( Chicken Health Handbook, by Gail Damerow. ) says on loss of tail feathers.

"tail-feather picking is especially common in growing birds, when new feathers filled with blood attract pickers before other plumage grows in to cover the area. But it can start at any time, triggered by crowding, lack of exercise, irritation due to parasites, or low protein diet and other than nutritional deficiencies. Picked birds must continually grow new feathers, causing the same stress reactions associated with molting including a drop in laying.
Feather lost doesn't necessarily indicate feather picking. Layers often have broken or missing feathers, especially on their necks and tails, rubbed off on feeders and nests. The annual molt also causes feather loss. Some birds drop and replace their feathers gradually, others lose many feathers at a time. During the molt, encourage better growth and discouraged feather picking bye increasing dietary protein."


Hope that helps
They are still on chick feed and that is 20% protein.. but I do have vitamins left from another chicks case of wry neck so I’ll throw that in some scrambled egg. I think I’m just being a nervous mother hen. My flock is all different breeds so they seem to be hitting certain milestones at different times. I don’t mind the cute little tail feather, she reminds me of Robin Hood’s hat. As long as nothing is wrong. Thank you for your reply, it’s seems that protein may be the issue so I will work on that
 

KelseyBoxer

Songster
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Mar 23, 2014
363
429
191
South Jersey
What other breeds do you have besides the RIR? I have a small flock of Black copper marans. 5 pullets and a cockeral. I am looking to hatch a few blue/green egg layers this new year.
 
Dec 22, 2020
210
449
141
Ohio
My Rhode Island Red is about 16 weeks old and while her tail was never very thick she is down to one sad feather, but no bald patches. . I thought at first it may have been one of the other girls but I spend a fair amount of time around them and there is not any excessive or aggressive amount of pecking, usually they give each other some neck pecks around snacks. No mites… and she seems otherwise very healthy..Kind of out of ideas of what is going on… I am including some pictures. Any ideas??
Aw, shes so pretty! Her tail feather definitely looks a bit funny but she should grow back her feathers fairly quickly. Our salmon favorelle hen is molting (down to 3 tail feathers) and it looks like your girl is also molting =)
 

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