1. PegramPoultryProprietor

    PegramPoultryProprietor Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2010
    I am wondering what normal feather loss is. I have Leghorns, Brahmas, and Orpingtons; all are 14 weeks old. It seems like I have an unusual amount of feather loss, especially with the Leghorns; about a feather per bird per day if I could guess. Some times it is a small feather, sometimes it is a large, what I would call an adult, feather. I’ve checked for mites, lice ETC, nothing obvious, but I’ve dusted and added DE to the favorite dust bathing places to make sure and for prevention. Also there is still some daily commotion while everyone learns to play well which obviously is causing some feathers to come loose. No changes in diet; all on Purina starter grower; grit is available and I started feeding kale recently in moderation. Does anyone have comments or experiences with this? Many thanks.
     
  2. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Doesn't sound particularly bad, especially given that you say your birds are still working out a pecking order. I'd just wait and watch, mostly to be sure that it isn't just one or two hens that are getting picked on and losing all the feathers.
     
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    Sounds normal to me. They usually preen themselves several times a day, so yes, there would be minor feather loss.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas
    Sounds like their last juvenile molt to me. If you look through the Kansas State article, it tells you they are fully feathered at 4 to 5 weeks, go through their first juvenile molt at 8 to 10 weeks, then goes through another juvenile molt as they start to sexually mature. At 14 weeks, yours are most likely going through their final juvenile molt. My coop and run was covered with feathers at that age.

    Kansas State feather loss
    http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/library/lvstk2/mf2308.pdf

    Mississippi State describes molting
    http://msucares.com/poultry/management/poultry_feathers.html

    Congratulations! You have teenagers! Expect their behavior to change soon.
     

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