Feathers in the coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MissJames, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. MissJames

    MissJames Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 17, 2008
    Coastal SC
    My RIR's are 10 weeks old. I'm finding a lot of feathers in the coop.I have noticed the roo is already very aggressive with them.Do feathers naturally fall out at this age or are they being picked?
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Miss James, I'm not sure about the answer to your question, but I just had to respond to first say "what a great tag line!"

    People often say to me "gee, you sure have your hands full!" when they see me out with my three beloved, but active boys. Now I know a great way to answer them!

    As to your feather question, I'd say to keep watching them, to see if they're losing feathers when they peck at each other, if you see bare or torn skin. I think they do molt out some if not all their beginning baby feathers, but I'm not sure.

    I do know that chickens have a deceptively impressive number of feathers (and seem to grow hundreds more right before you pluck them) . Sometimes I'll go out to the coop and it looks like some chicken exploded, or as if they'd all been having pillow fights. You fear the worst, wondering "which one bought the chicken farm this time?" but it's all just a normal amount from molting.

    The roo-boys always seem to mature sexually long before the pullet chicks do, and they'll attempt to grab the girls by the back of their heads and try to mount them. Meanwhile, the girls are shrieking their heads off in protest. It really sounds worse than it is. When the pullets mature, at around 18-22 weeks, they'll be more compliant.

    Just keep watching your flock to make sure no one is getting plucked bare or wounded. And perhaps install a cold shower for your roo-boy to help him endure the wait.
  3. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    I will tell you that right about 10-12 weeks I noticed that my babes lost some feathers but they never LOOKED like they did. I think it is just a part of them maturing.

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