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Mystery loss of feathers in the henhouse

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by katehopkins85, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. katehopkins85

    katehopkins85 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 14, 2014
    So I went to clean out the henhouse today and found loads and loads of feathers from my chicken poppy, anyone have any ideas about why should could have lost so many feathers overnight in a couple of days?
     
  2. mebuff daisy

    mebuff daisy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are your chicken Molting ?
     
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    X2, it's that time of year.
     
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hi :)

    My first thought also was molting.

    I experienced my first hard molt not so long ago. Came home from work and black feathers everywhere; Dusty had bald patches and I freaked; picked her up! She was not impressed! Lesson #1 on hard molt .. it is actually a bit sore for the chickens so best not to pick them up [​IMG]

    Increasing protein during a molt will help with the feather regrowth.

    Do you have some pictures of Poppy? Might be helpful in determining if it is a molt or something else; parasites, feather pulling, bullying.

    Edited to add: While surfing through the new posts I found this thread:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/580915/for-the-new-folks-that-havent-experienced-a-molt-yet
    I haven't finished reading it yet, but it looks full of information and tips
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
  5. katehopkins85

    katehopkins85 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone I will see if I can take a picture tomorrow. I did think molting but thought November was too late as I read it was more at the end of summer not the beginning of winter. I will up the protein.

    We have had some issues with pecking, and she was attacked a few weeks ago so was looking a little scraggy anyway, but I have never seen that many feathers and it was odd that they were all in the hen house, usually ones which have been pecked out by the other chicken appear randomly in the main run..
     
  6. katehopkins85

    katehopkins85 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 14, 2014
    Also they are only a year old, do they molt this young?
     
  7. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Mine are less than a year old and a couple of them are molting - they've stopped laying due in part to that and part to the shortening daylight hours - and I'm finding most of the feathers where Daphne and Mathilda roost. It's not a hard molt I don't think, but chickens are all individuals and can vary, like people - some of us end up with thinning hair earlier than others. <sigh>
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
  8. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    If you've had a pecking problem before with this group then it's certainly not out of the question that there was an attack again.

    As far as timing of molting? Anytime from mid-summer into early winter. I currently have 9 birds, one has been done completely for a couple months now, the last one is just starting.

    Year old birds can molt. My youngest batch was an early September hatch and 6 out of the 8 did molt the following Sept. when they were exactly 1 year old. The other two did not have a heavy molt until a year later.
     
  9. katehopkins85

    katehopkins85 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 14, 2014
    Thankyou so much everyone :)
     

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