New Mama loosing feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by FloridaChick88, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. FloridaChick88

    FloridaChick88 Chirping

    Jul 7, 2016
    Hello everyone,
    I just had a question about one of my little ladies. She hatched 8 chicks almost 3 weeks ago and they are all doing well. However, i noticed that when i went out to feed mama and babies today that she seems to be loosing quite a few feathers. She is eating and drinking normally with no signs of distress or illness. Is it normal for hens to go through a sort of "molt" after the go broody and hatch chicks? I'm a bit of a worry wart when it comes to taking care of my chickens so i just want to make sure that she's alright. She is currently eating starter crumble along with her case that makes a difference.

  2. KayTee

    KayTee Songster

    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    Hello FloridaChick88, and [​IMG]

    I wouldn't worry too much about your bird for the moment. Autumn (or Fall in your vocabulary [​IMG]) is the time when chickens naturally moult. This process involves losing anything from a few to virtually all of their feathers, and growing new ones. Naturally the old feathers have to fall out before the new ones can regrow. Google 'chickens moulting' and you will see how bad a bird can look during a moult (BYC even hold an annual 'worst moult' photo competition, just for the laughs it gives!)

    It can sometimes be worrying when you look in the coop in the morning and it seems as if your birds had a massive pillow fight overnight, but it is a perfectly normal process! If you look at your girl closely you may well see new feathers, still covered in their protective sheath, poking through the skin. Once they are fully through the feathers will lose the covering and puff up, making your bird look even more beautiful than she was before!

    If your mama is showing no signs of injury, stress, illness or insect infestation (which would be easy to spot due to a massive increase in scratching and preening, as well as you feeling itchy with mites or lice crawling on your hands when you pick her up), then I would not be at all concerned. Giving your bird the starter feed that the chicks are eating can only be good for her - it has a higher protein level which the chicks need for growth, and which will also help the mama to regrow her feathers, as well as compensate for the lack of nutrition that she suffered during her broody period.

    If you have a happy mama and 8 healthy chicks then don't worry - you are doing everything right!

    All the best for you and your flock. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016
  3. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Songster

    Jul 19, 2016
    Yes,They will go through a molt after being broody.

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