Feathers everywhere

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickgarden, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. chickgarden

    chickgarden Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2012
    We have 6 chickens (all girls) that are about 10 months old. We let them out in our yard from their run almost everyday. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the Delaware had a bare bottom. I looked her over and couldn't find any bugs on her. I cleaned out their coop and saw nothing unusual there. I've been watching her since and have noticed new feathers coming through. Her skin is pale pink, no sores or bleeding. None of the other chickens are missing feathers.
    This morning I went to check on them and saw her sitting in a nesting box, but then noticed her white feathers all over the floor of the coop, they looked like they had been plucked out, not broken off.
    She has been laying eggs still (although the shell color is a little paler than usual) and I haven't noticed the others bothering her, in fact she's right up at the top of the pecking order. The only other strange thing I saw was the Brown Leghorn coming up into the coop and eating the feathers that were laying around.
    Any ideas or suggestions as to what could be going on or what I should be doing?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. carolinasculpture

    carolinasculpture Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2010
    Hi! Sometimes they pluck out their belly feathers when they are broody, or she could be moulting. But if you are sure there are no pests, you could up the protein in their feed. Sometimes eating feathers is a sign they aren't getting enough. Good luck!
  3. chickgarden

    chickgarden Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2012
    Thanks Carolinasculpture! I went and checked her just now and found that the place where the feathers came from last night were under her chin/neck area. Skin there looks healthy, no redness, blood or signs of mites. And she didn't lay an egg after sitting in the nest for awhile.
    Maybe it is an early molt?
    Since this is my first experience with chickens I've read lots, but I know there's lots more to learn.

    Good suggestions for added protein?
  4. outnumbered by birds

    outnumbered by birds Out Of The Brooder

    May 29, 2009
    What about extra calcium? I thought a lack of that could lead to feather eating/picking. Could be wrong.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by