Missing tail feathers!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by farminbigs, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. farminbigs

    farminbigs Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2013
    I have six 13 week old pullets, and today I noticed one of my SLW's is missing half of her tail feathers. She isn't bald anywhere and I checked where the feathers should have been already have new feathers coming in. They spend most of the day free ranging and I haven't noticed any strange behavior nor have I noticed anything wrong health-wise with any of them. Any thoughts on why this would happen? From what I can tell she isn't even on the bottom of the pecking order, so I am trying to figure out what's going on.

    Thanks
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Perhaps a critter grabbed her by the tail and she got away, or she somehow got tangled in something and pulled them out in her escape. Other than molting, which of course starts at the head rather than the tail, feather loss is usually from feather picking by other chickens. But it would be unusual in free range birds as it's usually a function of little space and boredom.
     
  3. farminbigs

    farminbigs Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2013
    That's why I am so perplexed. We have a fenced yard but I initially thought maybe something got ahold of her but I found her tail feathers scattered around the coop and our yard.. I'm home all day and with as warm as it's been, I have the windows open and would have noticed any kind of scuffle. They have a great diet, so I feel like it would be far fetched to be a nutritional deficiency.. I guess I will just keep an eye on her
     
  4. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2013
    Well I've recently learned that the pecking order is constantly changing so it's possible that could be what is going on. In my coop right now one of the lowest chickens is working on making her butt numero uno and she has become of heck of a meanie head in order to do it
     

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