Turkey rubbung off feathers



My stag turkey is nearly four years old and has recently been scraping the feathers off his chest and is completely bald on half his front. He is not moulting. You can see the new feathers coming through and then they are gone, leaving the rough stubs. He has been doing this for several months. I have consulted all the experts that I know and also the vet. I have eliminated possible mites from his body (although I could not see any) and have disinfected his hut which he goes in at night. I have seen that he gets sufficient turkey food and he is living free range with other poultry including another young turkey.
One local turkey expert said that he had come accross birds which rub off the feathers as they grow, but did not know a cure as his turkeys never lived past Christmas!
I have run out of local experts and am embarassed by the sight of an apparently neglected bird outside my house.
Any ideas?


Herefordshire, UK.
I know it sounds obvious but could it be the other bird feather picking? Have you seen him remove the feathers himself?

The only other thing I can think of is depluming itch mite but this is very rare and I don't know a great deal about it.


New member
Strangely, I did not receive notification of this post, otherwise I would have answered it. As it happens, it is similar to this question from a few days earlier:


My own stags look like this at the moment. Feather breakage occurs from mating, fighting and rubbing against fences in attempt to get through to something on the other side. Also, most of their tail feathers are broken, and as they have actually started to moult as well, they look particularly bad. If the feathers are getting damaged as they emerge, this is most likely to be from feather picking by other birds. Try putting him on his own for a week or two to see if the feathers come through without damage.