No feathers

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by JoshJudge, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. JoshJudge

    JoshJudge In the Brooder

    Jan 21, 2011
    I have 15 broilers that I got toward the end of September. I kept them in one of those GQF brooder cages for two and a half weeks before I put them outside. I also had 15 pullets in with them. Now all of the pullets have their feathers but the broilers I think plucked all of theirs out around the rump, breast, back, and neck but have all their wing feathers and some patches around their body and head. I plan on processing them around the first or second week of November. Will the feathers grow back? I'm worried about the unhealthy look the carcass will have because of the redness of the plucked areas. Any suggestions of what I should do?
  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    The featherless birds are just slower to grow their feathers. There isn't anything wrong with them. You may need to warm them still. They shouldn't be out in the cold without feathers. They are rather nasty looking at this stage though.
  3. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    Apr 18, 2010
    Broilers generally seem to grow feathers poorly - they just grow so fast their feathers don't keep up. Totally normal. They probably didn't pluck their feathers out. Keep them cleanish and dry, and there is no issue with skin damage. It's just bright red due to blood, when processed and drained of blood, you can't tell the difference of the feathered or bare spots, other than less to pluck [​IMG]
  4. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Songster

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    Broilers are slow to feather in and will look a little sketchy for a few weeks. Nothing amiss. All the mix of genes that go into them, their skin grows fast enough to keep them covered up, but the feathers won't keep up with it in the early and mid-stages.

    They may still be a little sparse at the age you plan to process, but you should see them start to feather in to something more like a regular chicken here pretty soon.

    I raise mine out to a full eight weeks and the last two they're fully "clothed" about like any other.

    It's the nature of the beast.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  5. EggsForIHOP

    EggsForIHOP Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    Be thankful for the nakedness [​IMG] Less to pluck at the end! It is kinda creepy...a little disturbing...but a good thing!

    Until the horrid summer we were buying them ready to butcher CHEAP from a kid that raised them to show - the first time we ever went there I remember thinking "Gee, they just don't look right for show birds"...but then I looked it up here from my phone going home...yup, they really just are that ugly [​IMG] But, like I said, SO much quicker to pluck it was ridiculous easy! It's one way they are different that can only be appreciated on processing day - until then they are just Ugly...
  6. JoshJudge

    JoshJudge In the Brooder

    Jan 21, 2011
    Thank you all. I did notice today the are starting to fill out alittle more in the feather area. Haha yeah they are pretty ugly without there feathers. The pullets look a lot prettier.
  7. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    Mine are feathered out by week 3, by 1 1/2 to 2 weeks they have enough feathers if weather permits to put outside. I use Purina Chick Starter. I have FR now and they were feather out by week 2 and out side they went. If you have them in a GQF brooder probably the heat it gives them is causing them not to feather as fast.
  8. jessicayarno

    jessicayarno Songster

    Oct 6, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    Mine have featherless patches also and look horrible, just one of the characteristics of the cornish x..
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  9. One of my 3 week old, probably cockerel, is almost totally bald right now and has been for two weeks. He's also the biggest chick in the bunch.
    Big, ugly naked fat chick.

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