Losing feathers in winter?

Discussion in 'General Chicken Discussion' started by BootedBantam, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. BootedBantam

    BootedBantam New Chicken Mom

    596
    1
    0
    Hi everyone. I have a question concerning a chicken losing feathers during winter time. It is at my friends house (coop 2). She has two Wyandottes. Bellina is losing feathers and we can't figure out why? I am going over today to do a chicken check and see what's going on.

    I was under the impression chickens don't lose their feathers during winter. What would be the first thing you would look for?

    Thank you....BB
     
  2. chickflick

    chickflick New Member

    171
    0
    0
    I have a couple that are molting, too. Not a hard molt, but loosing some feathers, especially the tail feathers. If it's a hard molt and it's cold outside, you might have to bring her into a warmer location. Good luck
     

  3. kahiltna_flock

    kahiltna_flock New Member

    839
    0
    0
    I have one molting as well. I also have some missing feathers on their throat area, but I think that is from pecking. Check for bugs, lice and mites. I haven't found any on my girls, but I check often. Since we have such short days up here in Alaska they spend a lot of time in the coop. There is some pecking going on. But, we are on the downhill slide of that. Up to 7 hrs of daylight.
     
  4. fuzziebutt

    fuzziebutt Flocker

    1,588
    2
    0
    I would guess mites. It is too late for a moult. Now losing tailfeathers is a protein defficiency. Especially if you don't see any of the feathers. They eat the tailfeathers, because they are the bloodfeathers. They are hollow and hold blood. Open a can of wet cat food and give it to them, and that will stop if it is a protein problem.
     
  5. BootedBantam

    BootedBantam New Chicken Mom

    596
    1
    0
    Thank you.....it has been 0 degrees here in Idaho and the water has been frozen. Turns out the person responsible for feeding them let the water freeze and wasn't giving them anymore. I told them to check water at least three times a day during freezing temp's. I also told them to put out crushed egg shells. I will try the wet dog food and keep my eye on her. Other than that, they looked good. Bright red combs and waddles and they love the snow.
     
  6. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

    4,193
    4
    0
    Hi Booted. Good to see you, I hadn't noticed your posts and thought maybe you were gone. :-(. Guess you were just busy with the kids and the chickens. Say hello to outlaw for me. :). Hope you 4h is going well.
     
  7. BootedBantam

    BootedBantam New Chicken Mom

    596
    1
    0
    Hi EV....I have been busy. My chickens are doing great, despite the 0 degrees we have been having here in Idaho. The whole state iced over, worst winter yet... It finally warmed up due to the inversion and they seem happy. They don't like the snow.

    As far as 4H, I haven't had time to take classes for the chicken leadership program, but will start in the spring. My daughter is involved in the leadership program and we are getting a Teddy Bear guinea pig to show at the fair this year.

    Hope all is well ....BB
     
  8. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

    4,193
    4
    0
    Good for you. G. Pigs are sweet. I had pigs for many years. Named them after old boyfriends. Lol.

    Glad to know you're well.
     
  9. kaufranc

    kaufranc Junior Member

    977
    0
    0
    EV, you crack me up!
    Hope all is well with you at home.
     
  10. BootedBantam

    BootedBantam New Chicken Mom

    596
    1
    0
    Turns out she was moulting.
     
  11. Apyl

    Apyl New Member

    3,157
    0
    0
    Yep, chickens molt a couple times a year.
     
  12. soccerchicken12

    soccerchicken12 New Member

    232
    0
    0
    Mine never molt why are they sick?
     
  13. TheBackyardDonnellys17

    TheBackyardDonnellys17 New Member

    5
    0
    0
    I've done some research and a possibility might be feather plucking. Feather plucking is mostly caused by high stress levels. Are the chickens happy? do they have a lot of access to food or water? Or maybe the other chicken is pecking at it. Another possibility is that (what most people said) it is molting. I do find it odd that your chicken is molting in the middle of the winter though. But if it is molting, don't expect eggs from that chicken until it has stopped molting.

    Oh by the way, a really helpful website that's all about raising chickens and stuff is www.mypetchicken.com
     
  14. BootedBantam

    BootedBantam New Chicken Mom

    596
    1
    0
    Thanks guys.....It is a flock of only two and yes, they are happy. They free range in her big backyard and act more like pets. At first I couldn't figure it out? But after observing them, they both were happy and acting normal. I looked at the feathers and the environment. Bellina is just over a year, so I believe it was just a molt. We did up her protien and she is eating well. She is hanging her head a little low, I think she is embarrassed of her feather loss. While Dorothy, the other chicken, is walking around like she is the new queen. This was my first time seeing a chicken molt. Poor girl. She is back to laying and think her feathers are coming back. Sorry no pics, I keep forgetting to bring my camera over.