Whoa!! Feather explosion!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by blueberrychickens, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. blueberrychickens

    blueberrychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure if this is the right place for this question, but here it is.....
    On Sat, we got our first snowstorm of the season, about a foot of heavy wet sticky snow fell. During the night Sat/Sun am, the trees were snapping like toothpicks all around us & the transformers were popping left & right sending what looked like lightning flashes into the sky.
    The girls all came out Sun am & were less than pleased w/ seeing the white stuff again but they were out under the coop during the day. At one point, the roof of the run started to collapse under the weight of the snow & in doing so, one of the support cables came out of the post & probably sounded like a gunshot. All the girls ran in the coop & were reluctant to come out for a while. Monday morning I go out to bring them breakfast & when I opened the coop door, it was like someone had taken a feather pillow & shredded it all over the coop, feathers were EVERYWHERE! There is no way for a predator to get them, they are locked up @ night. All girls look ok, no visible injuries or anything obvious. Why would there be so many feathers???? would the stress of the past few days cause one of them to molt so extremely? (all the feathers are the same color, so I'm assuming it's only one girl who's losing them) The feathers are off(i think) of the lowest girl in the pecking order, would the others take their stress out on her & pluck her in the night??? Very weird!!
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    They are molting. It's normal - they lose their feathers and grow in new ones. The down side is you won't be seeing any eggs from them for a while.
     
  3. blueberrychickens

    blueberrychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    but to lose soooo many feathers in one night???
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep. This is my buttercup in this years molt. She became like this in only a few days.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. blueberrychickens

    blueberrychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, poor thing, looks like she needs a sweater!!! I'm glad it's normal & not sue to the stress from the storm, I just wish they did it when it was a bit warmer, not now that there is snow on the ground (which is melting fast & turning everything to mud!) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    She'll be fine. Chickens do better in the cold than they do in the heat. She'll snuggle up to the others and they'll keep her warm.
     
  7. MarieNC

    MarieNC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would also say it's a molt. This is what happened with my Cornelia Marie. She looked like she exploded! Feather's everywhere! It was insane! She looked awful for a few weeks but she is back to her normal, beautiful self now. In your case, it would be interesting to know if it was a stress induced molt. That I can't help you with.
     
  8. blueberrychickens

    blueberrychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well it seems to have been only a one day thing, so do you still think it was a molt?? Or stress??? I thought it was my lowest ranked girl, but I've noticed one of my buff orps backside is looking a bit less fuzzy as her sister, so I suspect it is her who lost the feathers.
    Oh & I only got 2 eggs today....[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  9. stilldeb

    stilldeb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, my EE's feathers 'exploded' off of her in one night and she is so naked I moved her inside for awhile. Her naked skin was getting picked on/roughed up by their roo. And what little bit of feathers she still has are still coming out.
     
  10. blueberrychickens

    blueberrychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Crazy!!!
     

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