Missing Feathers: Mites? Pecking? Starting Molting?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TylerG, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. TylerG

    TylerG New Egg

    Nov 2, 2013

    Hello everyone , have been reading on BYC over the past serveral all months but as they say in radio broadcasting "Long time listener, first time caller." I'm am here making by first post with some concern for my hens.

    I'm not sure if this is pecking or molting or what behind it exactly is but it's behind their legs ? They are 8mo old Barred Rocks that have been laying for a couple months or so. Kept in an oversize pen but I typically free range them at least a half a day sometimes all day.
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    I'm not sure exactly what is causing that feather loss/feathers growing in. Eight months is a little young to begin molting, but I wouldn't rule that out. My birds occaisonally just grow feathers in, for what appears to be no reason-- this may be normal. I don't see any mites in the picture, but check under the wings/neck feathers, too, just to be sure. They could be pecking at each other. Try observing them for a while, and see if any bird in particular is pecking at the others.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Look under the vent and all over for mites. The red mite only comes out at night, so you may need to check after dark with a light. Pecking may be the reason. Make sure they are getting a 20% protein in their well balanced feed, plenty of room , and some interesting things in their coop to climb on since boredom can cause feather picking. Here are some good pictures of lice and mite eggs: http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8162.pdf
  4. TylerG

    TylerG New Egg

    Nov 2, 2013
    I'm pretty sure it isn't mites. I've checked really close after I took those pictures. Balanced feed, plenty of room I think. (And as I mentioned before free ranged allot. )

    I haven't noticed any feather pecking and I have been paying closer attention the past few days but now I'm leaning toward it being feather pecking. Aside from the water container, feeder and the ramp to the house and nesting boxes there isn't anything really for them to do so now feather pecking from boredom seems pretty probable.

    Or perhaps it could be my rooster when he does this thing with them ?

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