Feathers Everywhere!

singingchick

Hatching
May 30, 2016
4
0
7
Montgomery, Texas
Hi!

We have 8 hens, all are about 24 weeks old.

Lately, we've noticed that there are lots of feathers around the run. What's odd is that the chickens don't seem to be missing any feathers. They look great! I've checked for parasites...they have a dust bath and they are healthy. We do live in Texas so it is HOT here...they have a fan in their run. I've read that feather loss can be caused by stress...what are other indicators of this? They all get along great and have a ton of space to roam, so not sure? Should I be concerned?

We also only have one hen that has begun to lay...aaarghh!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Wisconsin
They are still going through some baby molts, so that's why there are feathers, they will replace feathers as they grow otherwise they would grow out of them.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,359
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SW Michigan
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Yep, juvenile molt, probably the last...they have 3-4 by around 6 months old.

Some start laying earlier than others...are you sure they are not all laying?
They don't all lay every single day....it'll be infrequent, if not rare, that you get an 8 egg day with 8 birds.
You can check vents and pelvic points to better know which are laying and which one might not be.

Vent:
Dry, tight, and smaller - usually not laying.
Moist, wide, and larger - usually laying

Pelvic Points 2 bony points(pelvic bones) on either side of vent:
Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
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Holts Summit, Missouri
They are still going through some baby molts, so that's why there are feathers, they will replace feathers as they grow otherwise they would grow out of them.



Feathers from earlier molts generally consumed by birds themselves making feathers less evident. Younger birds have higher need for protein. Birds approaching maturity less inclined to consume the feathers.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
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Thanks for the info! We have two Ameracaunas and are only getting blue eggs. I've also been out almost every time she's come out of the nest box.
I re-read your post....you only have one that IS laying......at first I read it as that you only had one that wasn't laying<DOH>
 

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