Feathers in the coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Stephine, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For a few weeks now I have been finding long feathers in the coop. I have been trying to find out who they are coming feom but am not sure. They seem to be from at least three different chickens, maybe more. I can't figure out what's going on - all the chicks look fine, except one or two that have some feathers on their back towards the tail that seem to have a V cut out of them, and the rooster has a lot of down showing at the basebof his tail... a lot of the feathers could possibly be his. I never see anyone plucking anyone's feathers though - when I am around they all behave just fine, though I have on occasion seen chicks trying to eat a feather...
    They should not be short on protein, they get a good feed and extra mealworms, yoghurt and greens. How can I figure out who's doing this? Or is finding ten or so feathers a day from 15 chicks pretty normal? They are twelve weeks old now. Thanks!!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Before they reach adult size, chicks go through two juvenile molts. They outgrow their feathers and need to replace them. That sounds like what you are seeing. Not an issue at all. Perfectly normal.

    It’s not at all unusual for a chick or chicken to eat a feather floating around, especially one of those fluffy downy feathers. It does not indicate a protein shortage or any other problem. It’s just free protein floating around. Mine do it all the time. If they are pecking the feathers off of other chickens to eat, then you have a problem.

    It’s always a good idea to check for mites or lice, but I’m not reading any warning flags or anything that might indicate a problem. It all sounds perfectly normal.
     
  3. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! So very helpful to know! I was afraid I had bullies...
     

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