Feather loss?

dammlm

Hatching
9 Years
Oct 6, 2010
4
0
7
Hello, I have a flock of 17 hens and 1 rooster. I live in Alaska and they enjoy a heated and lit coop. I have been averaging 9-14 eggs a day. I have two questions. First of all, about half of my hens are buff orpingtons, which I have learned to be a broody breed. But I have a couple of hens that are currently broody. Is this unusual? My understanding is that because it is winter, they would know not to try and hatch chicks. Maybe because their coop is heated and lit, they don't really know it is winter? My next question is the other half of my hens are black australorps. They are all missing a bunch of feathers on their necks and heads. It looks almost as if they might be molting but again isn't it the wrong time of year? Also these chickens are not even a year old, and my understanding is that they do not molt until their second fall. If anyone has any ideas of pointers I would really appreciate it. Thanks-Melissa
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,179
12,122
636
western South Dakota
I think that your hens are broody due to the light and heat. Many people on here had hens go broody in the dead of winter, and I wondered the same thing, so I asked, and all that responded, said yes, they were supplementing the light.

Last summer we have a very cool May and June, and my BO did not go broody until July!

As to the feather losing, do you have a roo? Is he grabbing them there?

MrsK
 

dammlm

Hatching
9 Years
Oct 6, 2010
4
0
7
I have a roo so that is a possiblity, but I find it odd that only my black ladies are having this problem. My buffs and lonely polish are both looking great and have all they feathers. Do you think they could be pecking each other?
 

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