Feather loss around neck

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SelmaChick, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. SelmaChick

    SelmaChick New Egg

    Dec 29, 2008
    New member here; I may be slow but have finally clued in to the fact that one of my 3 hens, a barred rock, is losing feathers. I had noticed the presence of a few small feathers in the run for several week, but just discounted it as insignificant. Today, after being gone for 5 days, I can see that the loss is becoming noticeable, especially around the neck area. She's only 8 months old, so that's too soon for molting, yes?

    Best I can tell from a quick peek, the feathers are breaking off, leaving the shafts behind. I noticed no bugs or skin issues. The activity level, feeding, poop and general behavior has not changed. My other two hens seem unaffected.

    I house the three birds in a large dog house, with pine shavings, with adjacent, movable run. They get free-range time most days. From reading the posts, I'm leaning towards mites/lice. I need to do a more through check, I'm sure, but wanted to see if anyone have any other suggestions

  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    She's molting, I'd bet. I have a hen who is almost bald right now, LOL. Need to knit her a scarf. Some go through a sort-of mini-molt about 9 months old.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  3. SelmaChick

    SelmaChick New Egg

    Dec 29, 2008
    Really!? I thought molting occurred much later. Of course, I will be relieved if nothing else (contagious) is going on. Good thing I'm in the Deep South with infrequent nights below freezing; my knitting skills are non-existent. Thanks for the input; I've got a lot to learn!
  4. davidb

    davidb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2008
    north east Georgia
    molting most likely
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Feathers breaking from shafts you say? Are you sure the "shaft" being broken isn't the joint between the old feather and the pin feather?
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I have two girls finishing up a mini-moult right now. They looked just as you described with very naked necks. They are almost 9 months old. From what I understand this is just a precursor to the major moult at 18 months.
    Out of 18 chickens total, I think 10 of them moulted to some extent. In most of them it was barely noticable. A few of the girls looked quite pitiful.
  7. MissTee

    MissTee Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2012
    Central Coast CA
    OInce again- sooo glad this site is here! I have a barred rock who is 9 months old and looks the same as you desrcibed. And pin feathers are a good description of what I am seeing on her pitiful looking neck. She is my only barred rock. Glad it's only molting.

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