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My Chicken looks plucked! Help please?

(11 Posts)
MyOtherNamesArePants Wed 01-Nov-17 09:29:32

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.)

Imbroglio Wed 01-Nov-17 09:31:21

Probably just extreme moulting. One on mine loses all her feathers in one go.

MyOtherNamesArePants Wed 01-Nov-17 09:37:11

Should I give them some extra protein. Sure I read somewhere about a handful of dry cat food?

MyOtherNamesArePants Wed 01-Nov-17 09:37:19

And thank you.

Imbroglio Wed 01-Nov-17 11:19:32

Maybe some dried mealworms? But in my experience the new feathers grow in really quickly.

Tika77 Tue 14-Nov-17 21:55:01

Please don’t feed your chickens with other chickens (cat food). Try peas, mealworms etc

Notthecarwashagain Tue 14-Nov-17 22:04:30

One of mine had a really quick moult this year- very dramatic and embarrassing to look at grin but afterwards her feathers grew back fast.

I haven't tried it with mine because, smelly poo, but I have read that feeding tinned sardines could help give extra protein

Notthecarwashagain Tue 14-Nov-17 22:06:06

I thought defra had banned feeding chickens mealworms?

Tika77 Wed 15-Nov-17 06:55:49

It has, you’re right.

MyOtherNamesArePants Wed 15-Nov-17 07:49:57

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!

NewMinouMinou Sun 19-Nov-17 22:27:39

Mine are having a sudden moult! They’re silkies, too, so one in particular looks ridiculous as she’s lost the feathers on her neck but not the ones that make up her bouffant tuft!

I’ve been giving them chopped up pumpkin seeds and hummus. They love their hummus!

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