Loosing Feathers........?????

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mmajw, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. mmajw

    mmajw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2008
    Maine
    I am not sure what is going on but I have an area with 11 hens only no Roosters in there. They have their own private run and none of the Roosters can get to them.

    My question is why do you think they keep loosing their back feathers? They look like they have been mating. One has even lost neck feathers like she is bring held down. Others are loosing wing feathers on the sides of their wings (they almost look broke off).

    I will try and get good pics today to post here....
     
  2. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Sounds like they're molting
     
  3. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    You may want to pull up a chair and watch them for awhile. Are they getting along? Is anyone picking on anyone else? Lost feathers could be from picking or from molting; broken feathers in a hen-only flock suggest picking.


    Also ~ check closely and see if you can tell whether the feathers are actually broken, or if you are just seeing the shafts of new feathers growing in. When they are new, they will have a whitish covering that the birds gradually pick off so the new feather emerges.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  4. bangor777

    bangor777 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know the answer, but along the same lines, what age does the first moult typically happen?
     
  5. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    That gets complicated, and often depends on the time of year the bird was hatched.
     
  6. mmajw

    mmajw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2008
    Maine
    My Barred Rocks pick on everyone else and there is only 1 Barred Rock that has missing back feathers. It is frustrating me.
     
  7. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

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    With no rooster in there you may have a hen that is acting like a male. This can happen when you have a flock of just hens. The dominant hen will mate the other hens and some learn to crow.

    It could also just be a normal molt or pecking.

    Matt
     
  8. mmajw

    mmajw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2008
    Maine
    Quote:I was wondering if that was what was happening when I originally posted this. I have never caught them in the act though. I went away over last weekend for a couple days and when I got back I noticed that another one has no back feathers and her wings feathers and broke and some are missing.
     

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