Feathers not growing in

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lifthiminsong, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. lifthiminsong

    lifthiminsong Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2012
    I'm stumped!
    Last summer (2013), we had a rooster who had his "favorites" among our hens. You could tell because patches of missing feathers on their wings were made from him doing his business.
    This was not a concern then. I thought the feathers had begun to grow back in after we got rid of the roo. (There was some bleeding when the feathers did start growing in.) But, to this day, these two girls have bald patches on their wings.
    At one point I thought they were also perhaps entering a molt. Here's the kicker...another of our hens, whose feathers were always full, went into a full fledge molt last week - WOW, did she ever!
    We are first time chicken owners (just now coming up on two years of having them as chicks), so I'm thinking perhaps the two hens with patches of missing feathers either did not go into their molt, or I'm still completely clueless as to the varying degrees of molt.

    How long before the feathers grow in? Is there anything else I should consider or is this fairly normal?

    Presently there are no parasites, both external or internal in my girls. The hens are free range for 1/2 the day and kept in a large run (yard) the other half. Really, all is well except for the missing feathers. Out of 17 girls we get 10-13 eggs/day on average, sometimes more.

    I appreciate any input!
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    They will not grow back in until they molt.
  3. chickwhispers

    chickwhispers A French Hen

    Apr 16, 2012
    Northwest OH
    My Coop
    Growing feathers takes a lot of protein. When my chickens were attacked by 2 dogs in Mid December 5 survived and had many feathers ripped out. 2 had completely stripped backs. The other 3 had wing and tail feathers and kind of "here and there missing pattern". I increased their protein a little by adding chick- grower feed to their rations and giving them scrambled eggs 2-3 times the first week. Their feathers are all almost grown back in. They are about 1/2 to 2/3rds the original feather length. This also happened with a pullet in my first year of raising chickens. That took about 10-12 weeks total. So there is hope.[​IMG] Good Luck!

    But sometimes some don't come back until their next molt. [​IMG]

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