Molting or mites?

Kyguylal

Chirping
Mar 12, 2020
54
54
61
Hi all,

We have seven Golden Comet hens in NH.

They're all 9 months old and one started losing feathers on her back last week and now all of them are.

I noticed that they're picking at thier own feathers a bit too now.

Could this be a group mass molt? Or should I be concerned about mites?

Our wind chills are into the negative 20 range, so its pretty cold to be losing feathers.

I feed 18% layer pellets and they haven't come in contact with any other animals.

I've uploaded a photo from earlier this week and its gotten worse.
 

Attachments

  • 20210124_100329.jpg
    20210124_100329.jpg
    697.2 KB · Views: 9

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
34,918
49,435
1,262
Southern N.C. Mountains
I would check them over for lice/mites.
All of them are losing feathers in the same place? You don't have a rooster do you?

Do they have loose dirt for dust bathing?
Are they staying cooped up (inside) all the time?

Lose on the back near the tail is often from picking or being mounted. Even if you don't have a rooster, some hens will mount others as a show of dominance - take some time to watch behavior.
 

Kyguylal

Chirping
Mar 12, 2020
54
54
61
I would check them over for lice/mites.
All of them are losing feathers in the same place? You don't have a rooster do you?

Do they have loose dirt for dust bathing?
Are they staying cooped up (inside) all the time?

Lose on the back near the tail is often from picking or being mounted. Even if you don't have a rooster, some hens will mount others as a show of dominance - take some time to watch behavior.
Thank you. The feather loss is all on the back for them all.

They have a large run, about 15sf per bird.

The ground is frozen so they don't really have a spot to dust themselves right now.

No roosters. We get seven eggs a day from seven hens, but we've been getting six a day all week lately.

I checked for mites and didn't see anything, but I'll pull them out in the sunlight to check again.
 

Kyguylal

Chirping
Mar 12, 2020
54
54
61
Update: I can't see any mites, eggs, or lice anywhere on them.

It does look like the feathers aren't plucked out, but rather broken at the tips. I also can't find any feathers in the coop, so they might be being eaten.

I feed 18% layer pellets. I'll try increasing protein.
20210128_094114.jpg
 

Beard4

Chirping
Apr 12, 2020
69
35
63
North Central Alabama
Watching, I have a Golden Comet she hasn't laid in 1 1/2 weeks, she has just started losing a good bit of feathers under her wings, not sure if it is an early molt or not. She and the other chickens are on 16% so I probably need to go buy more protein for them all.
 

Kyguylal

Chirping
Mar 12, 2020
54
54
61
Watching, I have a Golden Comet she hasn't laid in 1 1/2 weeks, she has just started losing a good bit of feathers under her wings, not sure if it is an early molt or not. She and the other chickens are on 16% so I probably need to go buy more protein for them all.

Turned out to be an aggressive hen who was plucking and eating feathers.

I started them on 18% feather fixer and have been throwing in smashed pumpkins to them along with mealworms and oats. Seemed to have stopped the feather plucking. I did buy thr pinless blinders, but I haven't needed them.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom