Hens loosing feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Australorps82, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. Australorps82

    Australorps82 Out Of The Brooder

    20
    1
    26
    Jul 24, 2013
    Hello,
    I'm a first time chicken owner and tonight when I closed the girls up for the night, I notice about four or five hens that were missing feathers on their back near their tail feathers. I googled this and seen that it could be molting or the rooster just doing his job. A little background info on my flock. We have 10 Black Australorp hens and one silver/gray dorking rooster. All of them are about 28 weeks old and I have read that they usually don't moly their first year. Do I need to make rooster dumplings or is this another issue. Looking forward to some expert advice on this. Thanks.



    [​IMG]
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,373
    3,441
    501
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    That looks like where the rooster is treading, but other hens can also feather pick. Make sure they have plenty of room, some things to climb on and explore to prevent boredom, and make sure their protein in the feed is at least 16%, and maybe raise it to 20% by using a flock raiser food or putting a little gamebird feed in for a treat. Some hens are overly willing to the rooster and have more feather loss. Adding a couple more hens or the use of hen apron or saddle may help.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  3. Australorps82

    Australorps82 Out Of The Brooder

    20
    1
    26
    Jul 24, 2013
    Thanks for the info Eggcessive. I really may harvest the rooster. He is mean to the girls and not really pleasant to be around. I just don't know what to do really. I'm sure the girls would be fine without him and I'm not looking to hatch chicks.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by