Feathers missing on the front of the neck?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by smcjoj3, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. smcjoj3

    smcjoj3 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 10, 2011
    Rocky Point NC
    My Sicillian Buttercup has a bunch of feathers missing on the front of her neck? What is this about?
    I don't even remember why they pull out their feathers, molting? mites?
    I have had a lamp on in the coop a few nights last week because the tempature took a hard dip for us, and while I know this wasn't necessary or maybe even a good idea, I still did it because I couldn't bare the thought of my poor little hens being cold. Do you think this may have prompted the plucking?
    Anyhow, any answers would be appreciated!
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Probably molting - do you see pins? This was my buttercup going through a hard molt this winter. Warning on buttercups, they look positively horrendous when molting.

  3. Jajika

    Jajika Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 24, 2007
    Northern California
    Wow---that is one ugly molt!!!!

    All my chickens molt differently. Some lost more feathers in the back and some more in the front. The right question above is ..Are there pins coming in?

    If not, then, yes, it could be mites. Otherwise, if you see pins it is mostly likely molting.

    Good luck.

  4. LindavH

    LindavH New Egg

    Apr 2, 2011
    Do they ever get refeathered out fully again? Our 5 chickens have been in different states of feather loss on their necks for months. Pin feathers are visible. Our worst one is Globble - our Jersey Giant (What a neck!). We have D. Earth and did a close inspection for mites - not seeing any (we could look again as we are new to all this). Monitored they don't seem to pick at themselves or the others whether it is free ranging in the yard or the coop run. Time in the house not so sure of (which is usually just dark hours of the night. We don't especially care about their looks - just don't want to miss a disease or issue that could cause harm. Thanks for the feedback!
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Yes they grow back in, but it takes about 3 months (average) from start of molt to laying again. Growing in feathers takes a lot of protein and they can't support their bodies and lay too. You can supplement with extra protein sources to help them grow in a bit faster: mealworms, higher protein feed, BOSS, tuna, meat scraps, etc. Once their feathers grow back in, it takes a bit more time to get their body weight back up before they start laying again.

    My buttercup above grew back in fine. She's now getting ready to molt again pretty soon. They have to molt to have feathers suitable for keeping them warm in the winter.

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