Why Is Our Chicken Losing Her Feathers -she's Not Moulting-

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BubbasGirls, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. BubbasGirls

    BubbasGirls Hatching

    Jan 12, 2010
    Can anyone tell me why 1 of our 8 chickens would be loosing her feathers? I think they are too young to be moulting (7mo. old) We live in New England and it is very cold, but their coop is well insulated, and they have a heated water dish. Any ideas how to help her?? PLEASE??

  2. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Ok a couple options... molting can happen at this age, and it does... usually its in the fall but they might be comfortable enough for it. They could also be fighting and picking them off of each other during battles. They could be going broody and picking feather off (but this is usually only on their underside/chest area where they try to get skin contact on the eggs) this is probably unlikely at this age. There could be an overly ambitious rooster removing feathers while mounting.... but of course you'd need a rooster for that to be the case.

    Outside that I have no idea!
  3. BubbasGirls

    BubbasGirls Hatching

    Jan 12, 2010
    Thank You! But, We don't have a rooster, just 8 hens..And we get the eggs within a few hours of laying so I don't think she could be broody?? Her back has a large bare patch, and her skin even looks a little flaky in that spot.. I just don't know what to do...
  4. Countrywife

    Countrywife Corrupted by a Redneck

    Aug 20, 2009
    sounds to me like someone is pulling them out. In my experience, there is always one in the flock the others pick on.
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If you see pin feathers, she can very well be moulting. I have had hens moult in the middle of the winter despite it being freezing out. If there are no pin feathers, suspect picking.
  6. amysflock

    amysflock Songster

    May 8, 2008
    Tenino, WA
    You might also want to check for lice. I have one that was just infested (she's the runt and not as healthy) and she was picking out some of her own feathers.

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