Peacock losing feathers

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by percypea, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. percypea

    percypea In the Brooder

    Oct 10, 2015

    Over the last week at least one of my peacocks appears to have started losing his feathers. I have found four or five tail feathers in their shed, along with more small feathers than usual. I have three peacocks but only one has a full tail (the others are still too young), so although I know who the tail feathers have come from I'm not sure about the smaller ones. All three boys look healthy and other than the eldest's tail don't look like they've lost feathers.

    Although they are normally free range birds bird flu restrictions in the UK have meant that they have been shut up in a shed with an small covered outdoor run for the past three months. They're not particularly pleased with the situation but don't seem too despondent and all three have been displaying. There doesn't seem to be much aggression other than a bit of chasing at feeding time.

    Has anyone got any ideas what might be causing this? Could it simply be a result of being kept crampt up for so long? Might the fact that they can't forage be affecting them? They get a mixed diet of pellets, corn, mealworms, fresh fruit and veg and lots of cabbages to keep them entertained. I've read that light can affect them - it is possible that a light was left on in their shed late into the evening for one or two nights last week but not all night.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  2. Leaving the light on all night could certainly bring them into a full molt, but not for just two or three nights.
  3. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Crowing

    Jun 7, 2013
    It depends on how long the light is on. 24 hour light has no effect. It requires a night and daytime to cause hormonal changes. Peacocks usually molt when there's a notice able change in daylight hours. If they had lots of daylight, and less day light it can trigger a molt. Were they on the pellet, corn, meal worm, fruits, vegetables, and cabbage diet before the AI issue in the UK? Are there any changes in levels of their feed. Such as before they weren't offered as much but now they are. Is there an ingredient that you increased compared to before AI. What is makes up the greatest portion of their feed? What's the % protein on the pellets? Change in nutrition, stress, and change in daylight and night time hours can all play a role on hormonal level of animals.

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