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Losing Feathers

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MrsBrightSide, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. MrsBrightSide

    MrsBrightSide Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2015
    I have started noticing a bunch of feather loss on all but one of my hens. We just recently started getting 4 eggs a day and we have 5 hens total. We also got a dog about a month ago (same-ish time the eggs started and the feather loss began). He is inside most of the time but when he is outside he usually spends a good 5 minutes or more terrorizing the outside of their run in spite of my efforts to keep him at bay. This is our first year with them and I don't know if this is molting or if I should be combating something else. They do have areas to dust bathe and are free ranged in the back yard almost every day. The feather loss seems to be happening in the same area on each of them. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Do you have a rooster, that looks like feather wearing from mating.
     
  3. MrsBrightSide

    MrsBrightSide Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2015
    not to my knowledge. We purchased 5 hens as chicks. I was told there was always a possibility of one being a rooster but that I would "know". How does one know such a thing? I mean we are only getting 4 eggs out of our 5 chickens and one of them does not have the feather wear the others do. But from all I can tell it looks exactly like all the other ones, was in the nesting box today (can't say whether she actually laid an egg though). This particular chicken is also very noisy... sqwuaking up a storm but usually when she is running in and out of the nesting box so I figured it was because she was about to lay an egg.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    A picture would help tell if it's a rooster, otherwise it's possible a dominant hen is simulating mating, but I'm still learning towards you must have a boy.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    How old are the birds?
     
  6. MrsBrightSide

    MrsBrightSide Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2015
    They are just around 9 months of age. Here is a picture of the one not losing feathers.


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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  7. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    You have a feather picker.
     
  8. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    That one is a hen. Spend some time observing them one day. Watch how she interacts with them.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Yep, hen.

    What exactly are you feeding?
    Look at protein levels in your feed, label sewn onto bottom of every bag.

    Also, part feathers down to skin to look for parasites, around vent, head/neck and under wings.....
    ....do this well after dark as some mites live in coop and only come out after dark to feed on birds.

    Alsoalso, how much space in coop and run do you have(feet by feet)...crowding can cause stress/aggression.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  10. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Feeds without animal protein cause my hens to pick feathers.
     

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