Feathers everywhere!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by boheme, May 25, 2012.

  1. boheme

    boheme In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2012
    So...how much feather loss is normal in a 2-3 month old chicken? I have six and it seems like there are are always feathers on the ground or swirling on the breeze.

    At first, I was worried that they were pecking each other, that maybe they didn't have enough room. And they were growing out of the built in run of their tractor so we got busy on the run extension. Now they have plenty of room (25 sq. feet of run space per bird), and I still see feathers being lost!

    I haven't been too worried because even though I thought they were fighting and pecking and causing the feather loss, I've never actually SEEN them do that. They still don't. Sometimes they flap and run at each other and squawk but as of yet, I've seen no obvious violence.

    Also, I haven't seen any signs of feather loss, i.e. they don't have any bald spots or anything. Even upon closer inspection they are fully-feathered and look very healthy.

    I'm just hoping it's not unusual for them to lose a few feathers here and there, but in case it isn't, what should I be looking out for?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Chicks go through two molts before they reach full size. They simply outgrow their feathers and need to replace them. What you are describing sounds perfectly normal. It means they are healthy and growing.
  3. boheme

    boheme In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2012
    Thank you! I didn't realize they had molting before their first "big" molting as adults. That makes so much sense now that I think about it, because first it was my three light colored EE's who were losing feathers, and they are a week older than the darker chicks. Now the darker birds are starting to "shed" feathers too, just not as obviously because the dark feathers (red brown, and black) seem to blend in with the ground better.

    Whew! I just couldn't figure out where the feathers were coming from since I couldn't find any bare places!
  4. Oh I'm so glad to read this!! Mine are losing feathers to.
  5. rehric00

    rehric00 Songster

    Apr 3, 2013
    Glad to know this is normal... I have 30 hens, various ages, and it looks like there was a chicken massacre around their favorite bush, lol. I'm presuming some will start laying soon, as they are getting into the 18-19 week range :D

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