Molting and Missing Feather Mystery... *PICS COMING*

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Leah and peeps, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Leah and peeps

    Leah and peeps Songster

    Jun 28, 2009
    Hi Everyone,

    I have 9 pullets, 5 of them are 9 months old and 4 of them are about 6 months old but they have never molted before. When will they molt?
    Also, two of the 9 month olds (both black SL) are missing feathers on their back, but they never grow back so i don't know what the problem is there (we don't have any roosters) . I will try to get some pictures ASAP of them so we can figure out their problem.
    Thanks for the help!
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    There is generally a mini molt around 9 months and a major one around 1.5 years. Molts start at the head and neck. The missing feathers on the back are going to be from pecking or feather pulling. I've seen the same thing, even put aprons on a few if they actually got bare. Causes of feather picking are given as too little protein, too little space, or boredom. But mine free range all day over a few acres, fields and woods, so that lets out space and boredom for me. I did increase their protein a little and it seems to have helped, but they were eating forage and commercial feed before, so they were not seriously deprived of protein. I think some of it is simple pecking done as part of the pecking order process. It's the ones lower in the order that seem to lose some feathers. Haven't seen a bare back since I increased the protein slightly, but I still see some messed up feathers on the low ranking hens.

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