White flakes on 10 wk old RIR flock


7 Years
May 3, 2012
Northern CA
I have 3 Rhode Island Red chickens about 10 wks old. They all have small white flakes on their feathers quite frequently. They don't seem to be uncomfortable or anything. Is this normal? Do they have some sort of lice or skin problem?
They're in large pine shavings at night, and the run where they are during the day is grass and some dirt. The flakes are much smaller than the shavings, but I'll look more carefully tonight.
I believe you are seeing the protein sheath that each new feather emerges with and as the feather grows, the protective sheath is no longer needed and is shed. You will see more of it during molting and when young chickens are getting their big bird feathers on.

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