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Piles of feathers in the coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DianeS, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. DianeS

    DianeS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2010
    Every once in a while I find a pile of feathers in my chicken coop. Not scattered feathers like from one chicken bullying another - I've seen that before when one chicken had her tail feathers pulled out by another. But she didn't stand still and let them pull the feathers out all in the same place! These feathers are all in a bunch about the size of my hand. It's happend three or four times now.

    I can't tell which chicken they're coming from, either. None of them have bald patches. One does seem to be missing a good number of "under" feathers from her chest area, but not enough to account for all the feathers I've found lately. (And since the feathers are from her chest, it would mean she's plucking her own feathers, right?)

    None of the hens are broody. None seem to care about the plucked feathers. The feathers just sit there on top of the shavings in the general coop area.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated. It's below freezing temperatures at night now, I don't like the idea of my hens missing any feathers! If I need to change something to change this behavior, I would.
  2. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    Sounds like they are molting. How old are they?
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
  4. DianeS

    DianeS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2010
    They're only 5.5 months old. Not even laying yet.
  5. BethieofVA

    BethieofVA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2010
    Yorktown, Virginia
    My birds lost a lot of their baby feathers before there adult ones came in. LOL!! I am 45 and still working on loosing my baby fat!
  6. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    That is about the age of mine, and they are losing tons of feathers. In the morning the wood chips are dusted with them. Some call it a mini-molt.

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