Feather pecking/eating/missing

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by riverhen, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. riverhen

    riverhen In the Brooder

    Jul 12, 2009
    I have 12 chickens going into the second summer laying season 5 arucana and the remaining are large breeds. All the Arucana have lost feathers around the butt end - throat and top back between the wings- only the cover feathers not the under feather on the top of the back. They are not molting they lay every day. All the large breeds have not lost any feathers. They all roost together and I have never seen any pecking. The roost is cleaned every week and remains very clean. Fans are provided in the roost and they have a large out door area totally animal proof.
    The pen is directly under a very large black walnut tree...illiminating the threat of mites/lice and fleas, However I thought of dusting the entire flock for mites just in case the tree wasn't working but the large breeds would be infected and are not......Then I felt it was a problem with the large breeds picking on the Arucanas which are smaller in size. I recently read that I can purchase a spray that will help stop feather pulling ...ready to try.
    Does any one have this situation?
    Looking for answers and suggestions
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  2. Carpe DiHen

    Carpe DiHen Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    El Dorado County, CA

    I am new to chickens and I'm hoping someone with more experience can help you. I just wonder if they are molting. I hear that egg productions will "drop off" during a molt, so has it slowed down?
  3. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    It has to be a molt.

    They usually stop laying all together when they molt - but it doesn't have to happen. They are at the exact age when the first molt happens. Molting almost always starts on the neck & backside, but they can molt & hardly lose a feather. It depends on a ton of things that no one really understands.

    If they had mites - their legs would be in really bad shape - large gross things. So probably not that.

    Could be picking - but a bird getting picked on gets out of the way long before they go bald.

    I would bet a dozen eggs its a molt & nothing to worry about.
  4. le neige homme

    le neige homme Chirping

    Jul 15, 2010
    Try a search for "feather pecking" and see if any of that rings a bell.

    Some say it's lack of protein, some say it's lack of roughage, some say it's boredom. Either way, it will make your flock look awful and it won't stop unless you take action.

    Good luck!

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