When not officially molting, how many feathers should a chicken lose?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jewel1, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. jewel1

    jewel1 Chirping

    Jun 2, 2012
    Hi..I'm new to chickens and have four 4-month old pullets (Barred Rock, EE, Columbian Wyandotte & Black Orph). I understand that when they are around 1-year old, they will likely molt...but I'm concerned about the number of feathers they've been losing recently.

    The girls look really healthy and shiny, but drop a lot of feathers in my yard and in the run every day...including dropping the long, tail and wing feathers. They don't seem to be feather picking or anything...they preen often and show no signs of mites or other pests. My Wyandotte just finally got her first set of "big-girl" feathers a month ago and has already dropped most of the 5-6 ones she had on her tail (she is back to peach fuzz on her butt).

    Is that level of feather loss normal for pre-molt birds, or could I have a nutritional deficiency or something?

    Thanks for the help!


  2. thebanthams

    thebanthams Songster

    Jun 12, 2010
    Safford, Arizona
    Its normal for some to shed their feathers. They will not be completly bald! make sure they have enough protien in their diet. some people give canned cat food !

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