Plucking feathers

Savyjoy

Chirping
Aug 21, 2019
31
15
54
California
So we have a flock of 6 that we have had for two years. They have all been great with eachotber since day one, they have their pecking order and have never had a problem with them. All hens. We came home from a few day vacation to one hen with half her feathers missing. Feathers all over more than molting season. We wondered if she was having just a horrible molt, until we saw another hen plucking her feathers off!!! Any suggestions as to why a hen would all of a sudden pluck half the feathers off another!? And what to do with the poor gal with half missing?
 

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EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,983
832
California's Redwood Coast
Any suggestions as to why a hen would all of a sudden pluck half the feathers off another!? And what to do with the poor gal with half missing?
She's definitely molting. The feather plucking was probably random.

Using a flock raiser with oyster shell on the side can help diminish molt harshness compared to layer feed. Feathers are made of 90% protein and it's amino acids. Beyond that, I would let her be.

Peepers or time out in a kennel are options for any relentless bullies.

Hope you are enjoying BYC! :frow
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,902
35,886
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
I agree, you have a molter there, and any feather picking is a bird taking advantage of loose feathers or available skin to have a nibble. Not really an issue unless the picking progresses to the point that blood is being drawn (and even then, a little bit of blood is not cause for concern).
 

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