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Chickens Lose Their Feathers Cause and Cure

There can be many reasons as to why chickens lose their feathers throughout their lifetime and it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are in danger of death. We as human beings lose at least one hundred hairs from our scalp each day and sometimes, chickens just lose their feathers for no apparent reason. Today, we are going to be taking a quick look as to why in detail, that chickens can lose their feathers.

Chickens Losing Feathers on Their Neck

The main reason as to why chickens lose feathers on their neck is from parasites and various forms of diseases. Sometimes, a chicken will go through a process called molting, which is harmless and that will cause your hen to lose feathers on the neck, but a lot of the times if your hen is losing feathers around the neck and cannot lay her eggs, then nine times out of ten, this will mean she is infected with a parasite or disease.

Chickens Losing Feathers on Their Neck

How can chickens get parasites and various forms of illnesses? That’s a great question and a lot of the times, it can definitely feel as though trying to locate the solution can sometimes feel like trying to find that needle in a haystack. Various forms of illnesses and diseases can result from dirty water and feed that your chicken may be consuming and most of the times, the diseases will come from their cages not being cleaned out on the daily basis. If you let chicken poop remain in the home of your chicken, what do you think is going to occur? That would be the same instance if human beings lived with their waste. We would absolutely develop sicknesses and parasites living inside of us.

Chickens Losing Feathers on Their Back

Once again, the main reason as to why your chickens will lose feathers on various forms of their bodies is because of parasites and various forms of sicknesses. There’s just no two ways about it. What are the most common forms of parasites that chickens tend to develop that will cause feather loss? The principal forms of illnesses include red mites, as well lice. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Could you imagine how horrid that must make your hens feel?

Chicken losing feathers on back

Now don’t get me wrong, a couple of feathers laying around the lawn will not make a dent in anything, but when you go finding a lot of feathers throughout your yard and can actually see the feather loss on various portions on the hen’s body, then you know something must be wrong and nine times out of ten, it will be parasite related because that is the only reason as to why your chicken will lose its feathers in bundles like that.

Keep in mind that a lot of the times chickens will tend to lose the feathers on their backs are because of over-mating, which can sometimes turn into an issue because this type of behavioral pattern will at times, cause your hen to not lay her eggs. There is too much aggression and if this occurs, then hen and rooster must be separated until things tend to calm down around the farm.

Why would over-mating and aggression occur around hens and roosters? Well, a lot of the times if your chickens are in a cramped-up environment, being shut in their houses for long periods of times, this will tend to cause a kinked up behavior, which will lead to the over-mating and aggressive/violent behavioral patterns.

​Quick tips: Location of missing feathers and possible causes

  • Head– others chickens pecking, other hens asserting dominance, molting, lice
  • Back near wings and back of neck-rooster’s damage from mating/over-mating
  • Chest-broody hen, molting
  • Butt- can appear beefy red-molting, vent gleet, mites, lice, feather pecking by self or others
  • Area immediately around vent-worms, mites, lice, egg bound, pecking by self or others
  • Random bald spots-feather pecking by self or others, mites, lice, bullies
Melissa
tillysnest.com

What Are the Only Reasons as To Why Chickens Lose Feathers to Begin With?

Below in a listing format, we are going to provide out the only reasons as to why your chickens may be losing feathers on their bodies.

  • Chicken has developed a sickness from dirty water/housing/etc.
  • Chicken has developed a parasite from dirty living environments.
  • Chickens could be going through the molting process.
  • Chickens have endured various forms of fighting with other chickens

What Is the Cure to Fix Chicken Feather Loss?

The cure to fixing chicken feather loss is quite simple really, and below in listing format, we are going to provide those easy fixes.

  • When infected with diseases and parasites: You will need to make sure that you clean their cages every single day. Make sure that your chicken doesn’t live in waste. Also, make sure that the food you’re feeding them is in good date and has been closed up if left in an outbuilding overnight. As a side note, you will need to make sure that you supply your chickens with fresh water every day
  • When chickens begin to fight: Make sure that you house your chickens in the best type of separation possible. Although it’s quite impossible to keep your flock of hens and roosters away from each other 24/7, you will need to make sure that they cannot get into dangerous fights. A lot of this can be achieved throughout training and teaching chickens how to behave around one another. Take a look at this website for more information
  • When your chicken begins its annual molting process: A lot of the times, when your chicken goes through its annual molting process, your hen will tend to stop laying her eggs. To properly encourage her to go ahead and lay her eggs, you can place an extra light in her house, as this will accurately stimulate brain function to lay eggs, keeping your hen quite warm and comfortable in regards of laying you that perfect egg.
  • How can a person assist with their chicken’s annual molting process? Great question! What you can do is to adjust them to a feed that will have less than eighteen percent of protein or gamebird food, which is twenty or twenty two percent.

Additional Information on Chicken Feather Loss

​Image creadit: the-chicken-chick.com

When it comes to Broody chickens, and even roosters, there have been reports made that these types of chickens are over-mating and the reason as to why their behavioral patterns are this way are unsure. We do have a few speculations though. Keep in mind that the Broody hens will tend to lose their feathers on their chest, due to the molting process chickens will go through annually.

What are some possible causes for feather loss on different portions of your chicken’s body? Well, for the head feather loss, a lot of times other chickens will get into fights and this will cause feather loss, as well the annual molting process during the Fall of the year will be a factor in that, too.

Now, when it comes to the back of the neck, this type of feather loss will result from over-mating and your rooster being too dominant, which can come from your chickens being locked up for too long of a time. When it comes to the chest area, Broody hens are world famous to lose feathers around the chest area due to their annual molting process in the Fall of the year.

When it comes to the butt area of your chicken, a lot of times their feather loss will result from lice, mites, and various other forms of parasites. This is because when your chicken sits down and lays her eggs, if the place she is laying her eggs are not clean, then parasites will definitely infect your hen, causing feather loss around the butt area.

Let's us know your thoughts by leaving a comment. Thank you for reading. Take Care Of Your Chicken and Happy raising.​

Jeanne
 

My name is Jeanne. I'm a homesteader who loves to inspire others to return to their roots, learn new skills, and embark on their own homestead journey.

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