Feather plucking question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickiegrrl, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. chickiegrrl

    chickiegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2013
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    Our RIR is a messy little girl. She doesn't lower her butt-fluff when she poops, so poop gets stuck in her butt feathers. I trim her fluffy feathers, that way they don't get dirty. It was working great. All of a sudden, this weekend I noticed that she has a bare hiney. From her vent, going down, all of the feathers that I cut are missing. She is getting a whole new batch of pin feathers in. I checked her for mites and lice. Her skin looks beautiful with no parasites. Is it possible that she plucked the half-feathers or that the feathers just fell out from being cut? I don't think anyone is plucking them for her, the rest of her butt-fluff is fine and normal. In fact, you can't see that she's even missing feathers until you pull her tail up and push her remaining butt fluff down. I don't think anyone else is picking feathers. Everyone else is fully feathered and our RIR is the head hen. I can't imagine her letting another bird pull her feathers.

    I was just wondering if anyone else had heard of a chicken doing this. If it would help, I can try to get a pic.
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    With no parasites it sounds like a molt. Nothing to worry about, you could increase her protein levels if you want but it is not required. She may stop laying while she is in molt, many do. I have 2 that still laid during a molt, the rest quit until their new feathers were in.
     
  3. chickiegrrl

    chickiegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The girls are only 7 months old, can they go through a molt this early?
     
  4. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    Yes, they call it a juvenile molt. I asked the same question when I first started and my coop looked like a down blanket blew up in it. I had 13 pullets and 1 rooster all decide to go threw it at the same time. The juvenile molt is not as bad as a regular one.
     
  5. chickiegrrl

    chickiegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2013
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    Thank you, foreverlearning! That explains a lot. I went out this afternoon and my Australorp's breast feathers look like she's molting. I could feel some pin feathers on her as well. I really appreciate your responses. I'll stop freaking out now. [​IMG]
     

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