Hen losing A LOT of feathers!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by OhioClucker, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. OhioClucker

    OhioClucker Out Of The Brooder

    57
    0
    41
    May 2, 2013
    One of my five hens is losing a lot of feathers! We have no idea why she's losing them but I am worried as we are heading into winter and I'm afraid she'll freeze before her feathers grow back in. Suggestions as to what could be happening and how to fix it?
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    23,342
    1,217
    448
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Probably molt which is normal this time of the year if there are around one year old or older.
     
  3. mrchicks

    mrchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,406
    125
    176
    Jul 29, 2013
    Wisconsin
    I agree with dawg53. Here's three hens, all molting differently. They look awful, but they are just fine. Hope this helps:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,251
    89
    138
    Sep 28, 2014
    Indiana
    My hen has a bare back, so I know what you mean. I'm having the wife make a saddle for her, since the inside of the coop is already down to 25F. Hopefully the rooster is snuggling her.
     
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    23,342
    1,217
    448
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    You didnt mention that you had a rooster. Your rooster could be over treading your hen resulting in the loss of feathers. She might be his favorite. A chicken saddle will help protect her like you mentioned.
    If it is molt, purchase gamebird feed which contains a higher percentage of protein than layer feed. It will help with feather regrowth. Wean your birds off it back to layer feed when feathers are regrown. Here's a couple of pics for you when my two Light Brahmas went into molt, they had their own pen. Then an after molt pic with regrown feathers:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. OhioClucker

    OhioClucker Out Of The Brooder

    57
    0
    41
    May 2, 2013
    Thanks everyone! My chickens are only about a year and a half old so this is my first molt, which I thought happened in the spring. She is acting fine but still worrisome to see all those feathers gone! I will increase their protein and if the temps drop too low she can sleep in the basement. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by