Dull and patchy feathers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gbug, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. Gbug

    Gbug Hatching

    Oct 7, 2017
    Hello! This is my first year raising chickens end it seems there's always more to learn no matter how much I read! Onto the issue tho, I have three hens that were given to me in March (buff Orpington, RIR, and Easter Egger) and I'm not sure how old they are. I've noticed over time their feathers have really dulled and one seems to be balding just behind her comb.

    Not sure if they are molting or if it's the work of a parasite or mites. I have inspected them and haven't noticed anything, they do have access to lots of dirt for dust bathing.

    All chickens still have great appetites, drinking water, very adventurous, perky, and laying eggs consistently.

    I did have four but one began to aggressively bully the other three and especially did some damage to two of them on their backs (fortunately the feathers are growing back!).

    Any ideas or suggestions? :/

    Attached Files:

  2. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Crowing

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    Check their vents for creepy crawlies and egg nits.

    Then, if in doubt, since their feathers look a bit ratty, dust them with Permethrin. It won't hurt them. Repeat in 7 days.

    Chances are they are getting ready to molt as it is fall (presuming you are in North America).

    Hen feathers do get dull and ratty just before they molt....but that can also be a sign of external parasites.

    Hence, dust anyway whether they are getting ready to molt or not.

  3. Gbug

    Gbug Hatching

    Oct 7, 2017
    Thanks! I'll inspect them and get ahold of some tomorrow.
    Lady of McCamley likes this.
  4. Now is a good time to substitute a good dry dog or cat food for anywhere from 25 to 50% of their daily ration. By "GOOD" I mean animal protein.

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