Loosing tail feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Suz123, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. Suz123

    Suz123 New Egg

    Oct 16, 2014
    Hi, just joined this group and have a question I hope you can help with.
    I'm new to raising chickens, did have them as a kid, but first time being the one responsible for them!
    We just moved into a new house that came with 6 hens. They have what appears to me to be a great coop. Raised house with nesting boxes and a large covered run with optional access to other fenced area for day time.
    My question is that they all seem to be loosing/pulling out their tail feathers, all seem to be in varying stages - some have stumps, others have bright red skin, others have just a couple of feathers left.
    Today when I went to lock them up I saw a big pile of feathers in the corner of the run. Tail feathers and regular feathers too.
    Why are they doing this? Is this a normal molt, or are they self-inflicting this or attacking each other? How can I stop it, and at what point should I be concerned about it?
    Thanks in advance,
  2. Farmer Hensley

    Farmer Hensley New Egg

    Oct 15, 2014
    Southern California
    Sounds like a regular molt to me. All of my hens are molting right now as well. Very common in the fall season. If they were attacking each other, I would think that you would be hearing and seeing them do it on occasion. So, if that is not happening, then it sounds like a regular molt. Chickens molt differently. Some lose a lot of feathers and some just lose a few or more slowly. If you look at them closely you should see new feathers "sprouting" from their skin in places. Lots of feathers all over the coop is normal during this time.

    I have one RIR that looks awful when she molts!

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