Feathers in the coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by smokeykk, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. smokeykk

    smokeykk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2011
    Pennsylvania
    I am finding feathers around daily. There is no blood anywhere, just feathers in random places. I went out in the run this morning and i saw 1 NH red feather and 4 silkie feathers. I constantly find my NH's feathers out there. What can I do to stop the feather pulling?
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello,

    Seeing feathers lying around doesn't really mean there is feather pulling going on. Some chickens have partial molts at different times, so it is natural to see feathers here and there. Some chickens also molt slowly, so they never really look too bad. Younger chickens have partial molts too as they grow.

    Now, if you see chickens with bald spots....Typically at on their backs just above the tail, or on their breast, just below the neck, those are often places where a feather picker likes to pull feathers out. A dead give-a-way as far as who the feather picker is, would be the hen or rooster that has all their feathers, while everyone else has bald spots.

    Loss of feathers can also be from mites or lice.....but if your birds look fine, and you're just seeing feathers here and there, I wouldn't worry. It's natural. (I would take a peek under the wings or near the vent to make sure there are no creepy-crawlies.)

    Hope this helps,
    Sharon
     
  3. smokeykk

    smokeykk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2011
    Pennsylvania
    Thank you. No there are no bald spots, but I have just seen the feathers, and I was worried. I hope you are right.
     
  4. Stingrayg4

    Stingrayg4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Oklahoma
    Quote:The way I'm reading it you're not finding enough feathers for this to be an indication of a problem. There are always feathers around the area where my birds live. I think they just lose one or two now & then.

    -S
     
  5. smokeykk

    smokeykk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2011
    Pennsylvania
    Well, I am constantly finding feathers. Those 4 silkie feathers most definitly were NOT there yesterday when I put them in the coop. And my NH looks like it may be missing a feather from its tail. Are you sure this is normal? Oh and the silkie feathers were long feathers not little puffs. (I know they are silkie cause they are the only white ones) But they are long feathers not little puffy ones.
     
  6. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    One of our golden comets lost all her tail plumage and it was quite concerning. Daily, one or two was missing until the were all gone. One would be hanging in the morning and would just fall out. She looked fine and she was the only one who lost her tail feathers. For a while she looked like an overgrown quail. Well, a week after the feathers all fell out they are starting to grow back. Two little feathers are popping out and it I think this was just a normal molt.

    There are always feathers in out coop and run. When they preen themselves they will throw off some downy feathers that they will eat, sometimes before they hit the ground. Unless something leads you to believe they are being pecked off or they are sick, finding feathers are a part of having chickens.
     
  7. Stingrayg4

    Stingrayg4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Oklahoma
    Am I sure that chickens losing a few feathers is normal? Yes, at least it certainly is with mine. I think you're looking for something to worry about. Relax. [​IMG]

    -S
     

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