Why has my hen lost A LOT of feathers all of a sudden??

dianneS

Songster
Mar 16, 2009
843
70
241
South Central PA
I have a big old Brahma hen. The person I got her from said she was an old hen when she got her. I'm not sure how old she is, but she's old!
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She stopped laying about a month ago. Two days ago I saw she has lost a lot of feathers around her vent. Then the next day she was missing feathers all the way around her neck, under her wings, her chest, her saddle area is totally bald. The feathers are falling out, they are not breaking off. There are patches of bare skin all over her. The feathers are all over the hen house and outside everywhere!

Its getting cold outside and she'll be naked soon!
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What's going on?? Does she have a disease or is she just old and on her way out?
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dianneS

Songster
Mar 16, 2009
843
70
241
South Central PA
I HOPE she's molting, but I've never had a hen lose this many feathers when molting.

Its getting down in the 40's at night here and pretty cold. She's so bare right now, the only feathers she has left are just the little downy ones. I feel like I should but a sweater on her!
 

dianneS

Songster
Mar 16, 2009
843
70
241
South Central PA
I hope she is molting. I'm sure that no one is picking on her. She is the big boss lady and she doesn't even take any crap from the roosters!
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She's old and experienced, when the roos want to "have their way" with her, she lays down and just waits until they get it over with!
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She doesn't scream and run around like the other girls, so she's not even had feather loss on her saddle area.

She's the only Brahma I have right now, so maybe they lose all of their feathers at once?

I give all my girls layer feed and a little scratch. They even get oats and black oil sunflower seeds for feather production. I hope her feathers come back in soon, or she's gonna freeze!
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dianneS

Songster
Mar 16, 2009
843
70
241
South Central PA
I think my old girl is molting. She is making quite a mess though and its the ugliest thing I've ever seen! All of her bald spots have pin feathers starting to poke through now and her skin is all spiney, its very ugly!
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ThePolishPrincess

Songster
11 Years
Dec 29, 2008
2,944
31
181
Orange County, New York
Some birds moult 'quietly' and neatly and then are a small number of individuals who make a big show of it.
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I usually have one or two every year.
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Nothing to worry about. I have a big Wyandotte whose doing the same thing right now.
 

mypicklebird

Songster
11 Years
Aug 8, 2008
1,234
19
151
Sonoma Co, CA
If you see a crop of pinfeathers coming in, she is molting all at once- she would appreciate a high protein snack- it is hard work growing all of your feathers in at once. Some game bird start, or turkey grower, or even some dry cat food. I have 3 birds in full molt- they are really ugly, but soon will be the best looking in the flock as all of the feathers will be brand new!
 

dianneS

Songster
Mar 16, 2009
843
70
241
South Central PA
I've been giving her black oil sunflower seeds for feather production, but I'll add some cat food, I've got plenty of that!

What a relief that there is nothing wrong with her! She sure is a mess, but those feathers are coming in pretty quickly!
 

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