Suddenly - lots of bare, short, feather-shafts on their necks.

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In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 22, 2008
We are in Southern California.

Is the following a sign of a disease, or infestation?
On inspecting our four birds, I find that the rooster and two of the three hens have lots of bare short, feather shafts on their necks.
When I inspected them a few weeks ago, they had lovely, normal neck feathers/hackles.
Now, their necks don't look good, as a result of a lack of normal feathers/hackles.

If anybody writes here that it is moulting, then please also explain clearly what you see during moulting (in addition to feathers on the floor, of course) - because it appears to me that the bottom one-to-two inches of the feather-shafts have not fallen out, whereas the ends of the feather shafts plus the wispy parts have disappeared.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but during moulting the new feathers coming in are pushing out the old feathers. Hence the bare neck with the hard looking bare short feather shafts. They kind of come out like a flower, pushing out through the skin and unfold as they grow. Looks miserable and painful to me! This is generally the time of year when mine moult and I'm seeing what you describe on my own right now.
hotspur, i wonder if you could post a picture.

Moulting doesn't necessarily look the same with all chickens, but what you're seeing sounds to me also like they're growing in new feathers.
Chickens experience different types of moults too. Could be a mini moult and just lose their tail feathers for example. My EE lost her neck feathers only, I thought it was lice, but wasnt. I had 2 Barred Rocks go into full blown moult and they looked like oven ready walking roasters going across the yard. They have most of their feathers back now, thankfully. My Black Star pushed in new feathers and I didnt even know it was a moult she was going through and she was still laying eggs.

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