Rooster Has No Feathers

atief1253

Songster
6 Years
Mar 2, 2013
116
17
114
Our rooster lost all his feathers this winter. We figured he was molting since everyone else was and it was the usual time they molt. He is still a big ball of fluff! His skin is not red, no mites of lice, he acts perfectly normal. Hot weather is here and he needs his feathers for protection against the heat and cold in the winter. Any suggestions/advice?
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,722
34,171
1,122
Colorado Rockies
The condition you describe may be caused by an underlying problem unrelated to normal molt. I've had a few chickens go without feathers over large bald areas for up to a full year.

Currently, I have a one-year old hen who never molted when she was due for her first molt, and now her feathers are barely providing cover. Otherwise she's not acting as if anything is wrong. I'm waiting things out for a bit longer before I try anything.

It's been suggested to me in the past that you might be able to shock a chicken out of being "stuck in molt" by feeding lots of protein. You need to be cautious if you try this as high protein diet for chickens over long periods may result in other disorders such as poultry gout and it can put a strain on the kidneys and liver.

You might also buy a product called "Feather Fixer". It's a bit pricey, but is specially formulated to encourage feather growth.
 

atief1253

Songster
6 Years
Mar 2, 2013
116
17
114
I think this was his second molt, in which case, it will be a long one. That happened with all our chickens, a light molt the first time and than for months the second time. Was your hen still protected from the heat and cold with just fluff?
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,722
34,171
1,122
Colorado Rockies
The one hen that went so long with a bald back and shoulders had to have sunscreen applied every morning in summer because she was turning beat red with sunburn. In winter, she suffered from cold and I gave her a heat lamp to warm under out in the run. At night, the others accommodated her by snuggling close to her to keep her warm.

I suppose she ate a lot of extra calories in winter to keep her body heat fired up. It must have worked because being bald for so long didn't kill her.

The current hen has survived the long cold Rocky Mountain winter with her tattered and frayed feathers, and now there's just enough cover where she doesn't get sunburned on warm days outdoors.
 

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