Is She Moulting?

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Mar 5, 2019
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SE Missouri, USA
This pullet is one of the hatchery chicks I got at the beginning of March. Almost all of them are laying now. For about the last two weeks I've noticed that she seems to have down sticking up at random among her feathers. She looks like she has been in a pillow fight, and lost! :lau None of her sisters look like this; there are nine EEs and five BLs. They shouldn't be moulting, should they? Why does she look like this? I am in SE MO and we are in a bit of a heat wave - in fact, at the moment we are experiencing the hottest days of this summer! (That is Silverwings, my yearling roo, looking on, in the top pic.)
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cmom

Hilltop Farm
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Nov 18, 2007
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The first year the birds will molt several times and from then on once a year. Last year I did have a mite infestation and it happened when the birds were molting. At first I didn't think anything about it but they didn't seem to be getting their feathers back in like usual so I checked them and discovered mites. I'm not suggesting that it is happening to your bird and probably she is molting. The birds don't all molt at the same time and some go through heavier molts than others. Good luck and have fun...
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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I thought young birds didn't moult their first fall.... am I mistaken?
There are 2-3 juvenile molts before around 6 months.
This could be the end of her last juvenile molt?
..or she is getting picked on a bit and feathers are being pulled.
..or she may have external parasites.
...or <shrugs>

Are her muffs always that whitish color?
Is she laying?
I'd not worry about it too much,
as long as she eating/drinking/pooping/moving around OK.

But do give her a good going over to check for bugs and pin feathers.
Bugs check notes:
Have you checked them over real well for mites and/or lice?

Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.

Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.

Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Mar 5, 2019
16,857
62,307
1,167
SE Missouri, USA
The first year the birds will molt several times and from then on once a year. Last year I did have a mite infestation and it happened when the birds were molting. At first I didn't think anything about it but they didn't seem to be getting their feathers back in like usual so I checked them and discovered mites. I'm not suggesting that it is happening to your bird and probably she is molting. The birds don't all molt at the same time and some go through heavier molts than others. Good luck and have fun...

Thanks, @cmom. I didn't realize the young birds would molt several times. That helps!
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Mar 5, 2019
16,857
62,307
1,167
SE Missouri, USA
There are 2-3 juvenile molts before around 6 months.
This could be the end of her last juvenile molt?
..or she is getting picked on a bit and feathers are being pulled.
..or she may have external parasites.
...or <shrugs>

Are her muffs always that whitish color?
Is she laying?
I'd not worry about it too much,
as long as she eating/drinking/pooping/moving around OK.

But do give her a good going over to check for bugs and pin feathers.
Bugs check notes:
Have you checked them over real well for mites and/or lice?

Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.

Best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.

Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).

Thanks, @aart. The first thing I noticed was her muffs being so white, and then those little poofs of down sprouting out all over her. We did check recently for mites but didn't see anything, including wiping under the roost like you described and parting the feathers. We did this at night with a headlamp. What's odd is she is the only one that looks like this, but she doesn't show signs of feather loss... well, other than this, if that's what "this" is. No bare spots, I mean. It's just odd, I've never seen anything like this in any of my birds. I'll do a thorough exam on her tonight and report back, thanks.
 

so lucky

Crowing
9 Years
Jan 31, 2011
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@BigBlueHen53 , I have an EE who is doing that now too. She's about 20 weeks old. Just little whitish fluff feathers sticking out, that eventually fall off, or we pull them off if we can get close enough, lol. (Not attached)
 

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