Losing Feathers

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


Nov 29, 2015
My Plymouth Red is losing feathers around her neck. She will be one year in February. The feathers are around on the ground and not being eaten by the two other chickens (Sicilian Buttercup & Dutch Bantam) so I determined it's not a calcium deficiency. I have not witnessed any bullying, but it occurred behind closed doors in the coop. It happened last night as yesterday she was fine.

Approx one week ago she "flew the coop" for the first time and didn't come home one night. She stayed in the neighbors yard overnight but was promptly found the next morning. Since then, I believe she has not laid any eggs as I am only getting one per day as opposed to the usual two. I also changed the shavings in the coop to hay (as I had some) the day we found her. Lastly, I "grounded" her after she returned and she hasn't free ranged in a few days. We inspected her for mites, lice and sores and don't see any. We also dusted about three months ago.

I have a feeling it's boredom pecking or stress from a week ago, but wanted the opinion of the rest of the flock.

Howdy neilg888 and Welcome to BYC!

She looks like she is moulting to me; those are pin feathers you can see coming through.

There is a great article about moulting in the Learning Centre:


They usually stop laying during a hard moult and can become shy as they are a little tender and uncomfortable during the moult, which may be why she chose to go to the neighbours. They can lose a great deal of feathers overnight or in one day which can be a bit of a shock for those chicken parents who have not seen a moult before [like me with my first one].

Extra protein in her diet will help and try not to pick her up unless you have to.
Last edited:
I agree, it could be a total molt or just a neck molt which they will do at that age, nothing to worry about.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom