What are they doing?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by whistlin dixie, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. whistlin dixie

    whistlin dixie In the Brooder

    Apr 6, 2007
    I have 6 week olds who have just got their feathers all in, they seem to be sticking their heads into them and doing something to their feathers alot, I was just wondering what it was they seem so busy doing.
  2. countrygirl4513

    countrygirl4513 Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    Portland TN
    do they still have some down left? could be they are picking at it. i've noticed mine get the itch too. seems like they are aggravated alittle trying to help the feathers come on out by picking. or they could have mites. do you have a dust bowl for them? chicks require dusting to eliminate parasites.
  3. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    They most likely do NOT have parasites or mites at this age unless your coop hygiene is not up to par.

    Your chicks are doing what is called preening. As new feathers come in, they are encased in a plastic-like coating and are called pin feathers. They have to pick at the plastic-like casing to get it off the new feathers. You can see the pin feathers on your chicks. Pick one up and move some of their feathers over and look at their skin. You will see new little feathers coming in. Preening the casings off these new feathers is what they are doing when they stick their heads in their feathers. All birds do this, from chickens to parrots, ducks to turkeys.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2007

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