Feather Loss

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Feather Loss

Postby samsflock » 11 May 2015, 10:38

Hello, I'm new to this site and new to chickens. We got 3 lovely hybrids a week or so ago, 1 with 3 chicks who are all doing well.
In the last couple of days I have noticed quite a few feathers in the coop (converted shed) and within the run. I was out there sorting my veg patch yesterday so kept an eye on their behaviour and didn't witness any pecking, the three girls all seem very content and were dust bathing close to each other. So I wondered if the feather loss was just malting and if so is this an ongoing thing through the summer??

I have read that stress can cause this so as they have moved home thought this could also be the cause. I also read that lack of protein might cause it, I give them layers pellets in a galvanised feeder but I'm not sure how much they are eating out of there. They were completely free range in their previous home whereas now they're in a good sized run, so could it be that they would rather peck from the ground? Should I be srinkling pellets on the ground? I do sprinkle a bit of corn every day as a treat and they love that, but I'm aware of distracting them from their proper food. They've been getting a few scraps too but mainly friut and veg.
Sorry I've waffled on a bit. Does anyone have any thoughts or advice? Many thanks in advance!
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Re: Feather Loss

Postby ladyplumber » 12 May 2015, 00:42

Hi.

They can moult at any time of year really - it mostly depends on what time of the year they were hatched and the temperature . That's what it sounds like if you've observed them and there doesn't seem to be any pecking. On the other hand though, if they've been used to free ranging they can sometimes get irritated with each other if they're confined and can't escape each other, and could possibly be having a go in the morning before being let out of their house.

Of course it may simply be mother hen plucking her breast feathers out to keep her chicks warmer. Just carry on observing, but be prepared to give over some more land for a bigger pen to help prevent future pecking :)
1 BlackRock 2 Speckledys 1 Black Brahma 3 Light Sussex 1 Auracana 1 (noisy) Silver Laced Wyandotte 4 Marans x Cream Legbar
4 Barnvelder x Cream Legbar 1 Blue Splash Orpington 2 Chocolate Orpington 5 Gold Laced Orpington
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Re: Feather Loss

Postby samsflock » 12 May 2015, 09:10

Thanks for that, it occured to my husband and I that some might be from the chicks themselves, but looking at the size of the feathers your suggestion of the mums breast feathers makes a lot of sense. Thank you!

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