Predator or shedding wings?

hdvision

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 12, 2009
15
0
22
Out of the three chickens I have, it seems like the weakest one is shedding or has a predator? Feathers fall out in more than one spot, and I have seen cats coming into our yard freaking them out, but I hear them scream and I run out and the cars leave... Not only that, but the weak chicken seems weaker than usual.. My dad insists she is just shedding, but I think otherwise. Tell me ways to tell if is a predator or your plain inference.
 

Red&Yellow

Songster
10 Years
Sep 30, 2009
563
2
129
Frederick County, MD
Hmm, always a difficult question. I assume you have no roosters? Sometimes, overenthusiastic roos can just strip a hen down. Cats usually aren't a problem. (My brother's cat is afraid of our chickens.) But if the cats are stray/feral, then that is a different story. They can be vicious. Molting, in my experience, has started with the head or tail feathers going first, but I think it varies. You are right in that molting birds are weak and lethargic. Also, another hen may go after her and take some feathers out, but that usually dosen't make them too weak...I suggest observing her for a while, especially to see if it is the cats. Good luck, and hope this helps!
 

hdvision

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 12, 2009
15
0
22
thanks and yeah i have no idea either. 2 of the other chickens started shedding as well, maybe its the food, ill try changing it... and they all started from their tail area/lower back as you said they would so i guess thats all fine. ill be observing them. thanks!
 

nnbreeder

Songster
12 Years
Jun 22, 2008
3,762
33
233
Oklahoma
It's time for them to molt and get their new feathers in for next year. The ground around my pens look like there was one bad fight the ground is that covered with feathers.
 

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