What is normal feather loss?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChksontheRun, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. ChksontheRun

    ChksontheRun Songster

    Mar 18, 2010
    Central Virginia
    I have 15 ten week old chickens-- 13 pullets and 2 cockerels. In the last few day, I have been seeing increasing numbers of feathers in the pen. I dont mean one or two, we are talking hundreds. I see no signs of bald areas on the chickens, and sit next to the pen for 10-30 min a day and have not seen any picking. As I am new to chickens, I just want to make sure this is normal. They are all healthy, eating well, drinking well, and no sign of any abnormal poos, all solid brownish with occasional white. They are being fed grower pellets from S.S. and scratch with treats of watermelon, yogurt, lettuce or grass clippings. Also, no sign of mites that I can see.
  2. CalebtheChicken

    CalebtheChicken Songster

    Jun 5, 2010
    Jeremiah, Ky.
    They are molting, a natural process inwhich they "change clouths" and get some fresh feathers. Kinda like when a lizard or snake sheds its skin.
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    Yes, certainly sounds like moulting. They can look a scraggy mess with little quills and bald patches everywhere, but the feathers will soon re-grow.

  4. briteday

    briteday Songster

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    Yes, perfectly normal. My latest chicks were hatched April 1, making htem about the same age as the OP's. And you would think there has been a pillow fight in the brooder coop! I figured out that they get a few sets of feathers before they finally get the adult coat. One year I clipped the wings of my chicks around 8 weeks old to prevent them from flying over a flimsy fence I had to give them their own space. By 4 months of age they were going over the fence again. When I checked the clipped wings they were all replaced with new feathers. Pillow fight!!![​IMG]
  5. ChksontheRun

    ChksontheRun Songster

    Mar 18, 2010
    Central Virginia
    Thanks, I never imagined they would lose them this early, but it makes sense. Pillow fight is surely what it looks like

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: