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Feather Plucking Question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mrs. not the jet set, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Mrs. not the jet set

    Mrs. not the jet set New Egg

    Dec 28, 2009
    Two of my four hens have all their feathers plucked off the backs of their necks. They other feathers look like they have been picked over a little too. I'm not sure what to do or what is even going on. It's really cold here in Michigan and they all look miserable in the snowy cold. The hens are all about 10 months old. Any advise would be great. Thanks!
  2. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Are you sure they aren't just molting? Even young pullets at that age can go through a mini-molt, and missing feathers around the neck, and here and there on the body, is quite typical. If they are molting, they will be not as active, spend more time trying to be alone and just "hanging out". They are probably fine with the weather, as long as their coop is cozy and dry. You might want to up their protein, though, to help with making new feathers. Watch them if you really think they are pecking--you will see it.
  3. Davis5454

    Davis5454 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 17, 2009
    If you have a roo in with them....then it is likely from them mating.

    Keep them dry and out of the wind, give them a place to get warm if they want. Or, do what one lady did....and make "chicken dresses" for them. Yours of course would need a turtle neck. (haha) Seriously....she did that and it worked to keep her hens warm. She lived North of Detroit.

    If it continues to be a problem and you have a roo, put him in an separate cage. The couple I know had a divider in their cage and a doghouse for their roo.

    If no roo.....then i would go with the molting thing.
  4. Mrs. not the jet set

    Mrs. not the jet set New Egg

    Dec 28, 2009
    Okay, How long does molting last? Maybe that's it. We don't have a roo and I have not seen any pecking. Their coop is a good shelter from the winter winds but they only stay in it if the wind chill is around zero. They seem to prefer their usual hang out under the evergreen bushes close to our house. Maybe they do need little coats to keep them warm! Silly girls.

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