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Author Topic: Chickens missing feathers  (Read 1760 times)
New Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 6

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

« on: April 07, 2009, 02:08:17 PM »

Help, my chickens are missing their tail feathers or most of them. I had someone at work who raises chickens tell me that the rooster was probably pulling the feathers out when mating. But I have gotten rid of the rooster and their tail ends are still featherless. Any suggestions?

Queen Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 1478

Location: Weymouth, Massachusetts

« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009, 02:31:53 PM »

Either their feathers have not grown back in after the rooster ripped them out yet (it can take some time) or they are molting.
This is the time of year the hens will start molting if they have been laying a while.
They will lose alot of feathers and stop laying eggs, their comb and wattles usually get pale as well.
They can molt for as long as 6 months or so.
Edited to add, the molt is to give their bodies a rest, some hens will lay better after a molt and for some their production will decline a little depending on how many molts they have gone through.
Galactic Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 9827

Location: Grindrod, B.C. Canada

« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2009, 10:11:47 AM »

Cheryl, one of my older birds moulted recently.  I thought that there was something seriously wrong with her and was going to put her down.  I told my Husband (he loves this gal, her name is Isabelle and she loves him too).  I had never seen a chicken moult, but I hear it is quite common.  Does your bird look anything like the one below, these are some pretty intensive and strange pictures.  Have that beautiful, most wonderful day, love our life, health wishes.  Cindi

This is what she looked like when her feathers were mostly grown back.  She still looks a little shabby, but you can see those feathers are growing back.  I should get another pic today and put it in this thread to show how she looks now, quite pretty, with nice new feathers all over, almost looks normal, smiling.


There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 117

Location: Denton,Texas

« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2009, 03:54:31 AM »

Moulting is triggered by the amount of daylight. Just a small light in the coop can keep them from moulting and keep them laying. I have a light on an 18 hour timer and that seems to work.

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