Been noticing a few white feathers floating around the run and today went down to give a bit of extra DE pouffing in case mites were the issue (never noticeably had mites with any of the chickens but a just in case).
Tried to catch Snowy (the only white lady) who is normally pretty good at letting you pick her up (does the static squatting dance thing). This time she made a run for it and with zero effort a HUGE handful of feathers is all I was left with!
She is about 20 months old. No problems. Seems to have been laying OK. Looked at the feathers I was holding and cannot see any signs of creepy crawlies.
Is this just an enormous, dramatic moult. None of them have ever done this before. Or something else - in which case what and what do I need to do?
(Have 5 chickens, they have free access to a Solway chicken house, Omlet 6m walk-in run and then we let them "free-range" most of the day in a 30m fenced off area of the garden.)
Did not know about the mealworms - though having looked it up it seems UK mealworms are OK but imported not so good. I ended up giving them all some pumpkin seeds (right time of year for it). Feathers seem to be returning so all is well.
And Tika - there are other flavours of cat food around! I was not going to feed them chicken-based products!