Poor feather condition

iain.sherriff

New member
Messages
2
Hi from UK :)99

We have six Bluebell girls.
Just over one year old now.
They have a 6m x 3m run and a house.
Over the winter five of them lost feather condition, one has replaced all her feathers, the others just look scruffy.
We have never seen any pecking and can't see signs of mites.
The sixth one is still pristine and all still have red combs.
Laying hardly dropped during the short days and maintains five/six a day.

Pristine chook
http://uklows.com/chooks/39.jpg

scruffy
http://uklows.com/chooks/06.jpg

Neck close up
http://uklows.com/chooks/09.jpg

tail close up
http://uklows.com/chooks/32.jpg

No feather loss around vents.

Is this just very slow molting or is it something else.

Thanks
 

Marigold

Moderator
PKF Sponsor
Messages
8,053
Location
Hampshire, U.K.
Hi Iain, and welcome to the Forum.
Your one-year-old birds are not moulting. They are due to moult during the autumn of 2022, after their second breeding season next summer. When they do moult, it’s more a case of dropping whole feathers and replacing them with new feather shafts which grow out from each feather follicle. The remaining feathers don’t look scruffy, just maybe a bit worn at the edges.
I expect your birds are suffering from a mite infestation of some kind. There are several possibilities. Perhaps the most likely is lice.
See https://poultrykeeper.com/external-problems/lice-on-chickens-and-poultry/
Have a look and see if you can see any eggs deep in the feather shafts. If you could post some close up pictures of their skin and feather shafts it would be helpful.
Whatever it turns out to be, you’ll need to treat all of them, including the one who appears unaffected at the moment.
 
Top