Is any amount of feather loss normal for non-molting chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Auburnchick, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Auburnchick

    Auburnchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2011
    Alabama
    Please forgive my extreme ignorance. [​IMG] I've only had my girls a few weeks! A friend of mine got baby chicks in the spring and has been giving away "extras," so I got five of hers. They are all laying eggs now. I've noticed a few feathers in the run over the last week or two, and one of my ladies has had a few feathers that looked "loose," like they were about to fall out. Is this typical, or does it mean that she is starting to molt? I wasn't expecting them to molt until next fall since they were hatched this spring.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    How old are they? What part of the body are the feathers coming from?
     
  3. Auburnchick

    Auburnchick Out Of The Brooder

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    They were all hatched in the spring, in either March or April (they were in two batches, and I have no idea which of mine came from which batch), so either 6 or 7 months old? The "loose" looking feathers are in the tail area. They are all very active and seem otherwise healthy (to my admittedly very inexperienced eyes). I don't notice them pecking at each other much...and the one that has had some loose feathers is near the top of the pecking order anyway.
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Typically they start molting from the head back. It's not uncommon for a pullet to go through a mini-molt their first year, but again from the head back.

    I assume you don't have a rooster that could be damaging her feathers during mating. I would check for mites. If mite free, then unless you see excessive pecking and as long as she continues to behave normally and healthy I wouldn't worry too much.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Auburnchick

    Auburnchick Out Of The Brooder

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    No roosters here! Should I check the hen house for mites or the birds themselves?
     

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