Neck feathers missing

Question
Neck feathers missing: My hens have their neck feathers missing. Under their "chins" it is bare to the skin. They are laying well. Any ideas?

Answer
It’s been a while since I looked under the chin of a chicken, but I don’t recall them having much feathering there. I’ll have to go look at a few of mine and get back to you.

OK, I’m back. I did notice little feathers from the beak down between the wattles, with fewer feathers close to the wattles.

I guess I’m not sure what you are describing, how far under the chins your hens are bare. I have Speckled Sussex, Marans, Leghorn, Americauna, and a few mixes.

I have noticed some of my hens affectionately over grooming my Cochin rooster and he is missing a bunch of neck feathers, just in the front under his “chin”.

He seems to love the attention, but I suspect the hens are responsible for the feather loss.

I’m not sure what to guess at here as I don’t have a clear picture of the amount of area we are talking about.

I would possibly suspect mites, but couldn’t say what this is or if you need to do something about it.

Generally when we notice something out of place with our chickens it’s time to act. Finding out exactly what the problem is can be the tricky part.

A bit more description or picture might help me help you. If the skin looks normal, no signs of rawness, and they are acting normal you probably don’t need to be too concerned.

But definitely keep an eye on them for signs of the featherless area growing or looking irritated.

Some mite treatments call for a withdrawal period before you can use the eggs, so I like to be sure, when treating hens, that treatment is needed.

Comments for
Neck feathers missing

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 13, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
pearls
by: mary

I have a few chickens that are missing their neck feathers, a strip about two inches long only on the front of their necks.

Not sure what the problem is. The rooster is a little rough with breeding, but not all of the chickens necks are like that. The majority have healthy necks and feathers.

It almost looks like they are going bald on a small strip on the front of the neck. Any suggestions or info would be appreciated.

Mar 14, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
NECK FEATHER MISSING
by: Sharon

Roosters that are rough and pull hen's feathers, usually pull them from the back. Depends on the rooster.

I had a rooster whose hens affectionately over groomed the front of his neck and it was impossible to grow any front neck feather back.

I just had to watch the chickens for a while to figure out what the problem was.

I'd treated him for mites and nothing helped. I'm guessing you might have a similar problem.

The best thing to do is find some time to sit and watch the flock. You may find other hens being agressive towards these hens, you may find the hens are plucking themselves.

It could be a mite problem. If these are laying hens and someone is eating the eggs I would suggest dusting these hens and the environment with Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth since it is all natural.

These feathers may grow back on their own during the next molt cycle.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Chicken Feathers Questions.