Losing Feathers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rose ryan, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. rose ryan

    rose ryan New Egg

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    Jul 5, 2015
    Arizona
    Hello, first time poster. I bought four day old chicks from the feed store beginning of Jan 2015. (I have learned everything I know about chickens from you guys - no clue what I would do without you). One of my girls, a white leghorn, has been losing feathers for about a month. I have been seeing white feathers in the yard, but since I have added 2 white turkeys, I wasn't exactly sure who the feathers belonged to. It is pretty obvious that she is missing a lot of feathers. She has gone broody 3 times since starting to lay. I broke her within 1-3 days each time. It seems the missing feathers started about the last time she went broody. She seems to be eating, drinking, roosting and otherwise acting normally. She hasn't laid eggs though since she went broody which was about 3 weeks ago. I do have a silkie roo that has discovered women, but she isn't one of his favorites. She's at the top of the pecking order and my husband and I don't see anyone pecking at her. I do see what appears to be a lot of new feather quills starting on her. I would have guessed she was molting but isn't she too young (9 mos?) My flock sleeps in a PVC tractor enclosed by hardware cloth during the night and they roam our yard from about 9am-8pm. Everyone else seems to be normal. This is embarrassing but I'm not sure if she was vaccinated for mareks or coccidia (sp?) - I guess I should ask the feed store. Thanks for reading and appreciate any advice![​IMG]
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC!

    She is a bit young to be going through an adult molt, however if she has gone broody, often times they can "mini" molt afterwards. So this is a probable cause. Mareks or Coccidiosis wouldn't cause feather loss like this or broodiness.

    They don't lay while broody and it can take a while for them to return to laying after going broody. The hormones to lay will start back up eventually. Same with molting. Hormones dip and all protein the birds takes in is needed to regrow feathers. Feathers are made up of 80% protein.

    As long as she is eating and drinking well, keeping up with the flock, I would say she is just fine! :)
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ditto TwoCrows advice.

    I had a 9 month old go thru a molt last winter, and have read of others too, not common but not unprecedented.
    Give her some extra protein (meat scraps, meal worms, scrambled eggs) to help regrow her feathers.
     
  4. rose ryan

    rose ryan New Egg

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    Jul 5, 2015
    Arizona
    Thank you both for the great responses. I appreciate it.
     

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