Return to the Farm Life Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Strange feathers on Chicken

Posted by dianebry 8TX (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 30, 10 at 8:12

HELP I have a young chicken with strange looking feathers. They look and feel more like quills. This poor thing has already had a broken leg and now when it's supposed to feather out it is almost bald down the middle of it's back and under it's belly. Has anyone ever come across this before. It's almost like the feathers are stuck in a shaft.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Strange feathers on Chicken

Sounds like a mite infestion. I'd dust her. The quill is the normal appearance of where new feathers are trying to erupt to replace shed feathers, but haven't grown out far enough yet. Have any other chickens been plucking at her? If not, I'd suspect mites.

RE: Strange feathers on Chicken

Are these new feathers growing in after a molt? If so, they are normal and the bird will preen them in. Don't handle the bird during this time as it's painful for them. Offer some extra protein in the form of live mealworms/crickets, cooked ground beef, scrambled eggs, etc. to give them a protein boost--growing new feathers takes lots of protein!

Like calliope said, check her over for mites (tiny, dark, crawling specks, and/or grayish dust stuck to the base of feather shafts, which are the mite eggs). Place her on a sheet or two of white paper towels for about 20 mites, then look at the towels--mites are attracted to white and you'll see them crawling on the towels.

Also check to make sure she (or another bird) aren't pulling her feathers out. This can be a sign of boredom/overcrowding or a protein deficiency. If the feathers are being eaten after being pulled, offer more protein in their diet. Feather picking can be a tough bad habit to break, if that is what they are doing offer foods that take time to eat (a cabbage hung from a string, raw corn on the cob) to divert pecking from her and offer them entertainment. If they are overcrowded give them more room to roam.

Also, when growing new feathers they tend to be down-in-the-dumps and kinda grumpy, which is normal. Heck, I'd be grumpy, too!

Velvet ~:>

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Farm Life Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here