Janet O asked in PetsBirds · 1 decade ago

my chickens have lost their back feathers and are very red. any suggestions?

I acquired my grandsons chickens, the hens are featherless on the back and have gotten sun-burned I think. Any suggestions?

6 Answers

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  • Just Q
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I still have a couple of hens like this and it is because they are among the 3-4 that my Rooster still mounts and breeds.

    Give the birds some time and they will be alright but they need adequate shelter for the up and coming winter.

    I have enough birds and my hen house is built in such a manner that my birds stay warm by fluffing up their feathers and huddling together so my "bare" hens are staying warm until their new feathers come out.

    IF those birds are sunburned which I really doubt,they will know how to take care of themselves. . . as in staying in shaded areas etc. until their new feathers come in. . . which really doesn't take that long and if you look I bet you can already see some pin feathers appearing.

    Good Luck

    Source(s): Chicken Lady Duck Lady
  • 1 decade ago

    Feathers are 91% protein 1.3 % fat and 7.9 % water. This may be from molting The life span of a domestic chicken is between 5-8 yrs(layers) and 1-4 yrs for factory layers. Your birds are molting this is normal for them at this time of yr. Some loose large areas of feathers this last for about 4-10 weeks.This will depend on age and breeds you have since they will not all molt at same time.If have same breed and all the same age this could happen.The birds loose all the un needed fearthers they have had for the summer and will start to re grow for winter so they can stay warmer.

    There are a few breeds that do what's called a vacation molt, where the hens will shed only a few feathers from wings and neck and back. This molt starts from shorter days with the days shorter the birds have less time to feed with this it causes weight loss and birds need plenty of energy to produce a egg.Replaceing feathers is hard for birds as well since time for feeding gets cut off with the time changes.The birds need a food with plenty of nutritional balance while this is going on.Try some protein starter feed thats 20% protein this helps birds replace feather a tad faster.Whole wheat is great,Corn is best for winter months or a tad before to make fat to keep birds warm for winters. Some leafy legume hay to stimulate their appetites alflfa has alot of proteins, calcium and other good nutrients. This will provide exercise and entertainment for the birds.

    The red may just be the skin .If you don't see a wound this may be from the feathers just being gone Mine look they same way at this time.Chickens don't sit in the sun long enough to burn they seem to know when to get out of the sun.This is a process hens go threw all their lives so give it time the feathers will come back in and you will have some wonderful birds again. Do you have any shade spots for your birds? Mine sit under our trees alot, or in them.

    Source(s): have birds (chickens) raised them
  • dee k
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    molten is to be liquefied by heat,i am sure your hens are no where near molten,however it could be the annual moult if this is the right time of the year for moulting where you live,as you have been assured new feathers return pretty soon ,i don't think hens will allow themselves to get sunburn,they are smart enough to move into the shade for protection, newly exposed skin does look redder than the covered area.Since it is only the back that is involved i don't think it is a pest problem either.

    Given time new feathers will soon appear & they should look fine once again.

    Source(s): rear & breed poultry.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Dear Janet O,

    They are most likely plucking each other's tail feathers. This is called the 'pecking order' and it is when one chicken takes the tail feathers off the other's to show dominance andput it in its place. They also do this if they don' have much room. Get them a bigger coop, this may help.

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  • 1 decade ago

    keep them in the shade and how did they loose them

  • 1 decade ago

    they are probably molten it is that time of year,its ok

    Source(s): Janet O
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