Causes of feathers in chickens and treatment methods

Every person who breeds poultry wants their animals to be healthy, and the productivity of their breeding is at the highest possible level. But sometimes it happens that birds drop feathers in different parts of the body. This process has received a scientific name - alopecia. The causes of the phenomenon can be different, therefore, before starting to take any measures, the owners should find out why the chickens drop feathers. Only after this can you begin to fight alopecia.

Why do chickens drop feathers

It is important to remember that self-medication of animals, like self-medication of people, can only be carried out by coordinating the methods with a specialist. It is also important to remember that the use of official medicines does not always give an instant effect.

Distinctive features of the problem

It's no secret that chickens, like any other birds, go through seasonal molting. During this period, feathers fall out of the tail of birds, foci appear on the neck, feathers from the wings pour in. Therefore, a person who first encountered such a phenomenon as feather loss can confuse the plumage and alopecia.

During feather fall in chickens, which is not caused by a seasonal change in plumage, certain parts of the bird’s body are affected by the problem, namely:

  • neck and chest area;
  • less commonly, back and tail.

If the fallen feathers are discolored, this clearly indicates that the bird fell under the influence of alopecia. Also, due to the development of a problematic situation, fluff can also fall out, which does not happen during seasonal molting.

Hens go bald due to alopecia at any time of the year. This is one of the main distinguishing features that helps breeders determine when to worry about the health of their birds.

As soon as the owner notices that the feathers of his pets began to fall out too abundantly, discolor and cause baldness in certain parts of the body, it is worthwhile to find out what is the cause of alopecia and take measures to eliminate the problem, otherwise the chickens may completely lose their plumage. In most cases, it can be argued that complete baldness due to alopecia threatens representatives of meat or meat and milk breeds, for example, broilers.

For what reasons feathers may fall out

In order to provide timely and proper assistance to your household, it is important to correctly determine the cause of the plumage falling out of the many possible ones. At the current moment of time, the following reasons for the development of the problem are known, due to which the plumage may fall out in layers:

  • incorrect diet;
  • violations in the conditions of detention;
  • the presence of parasitic organisms in bird organisms.

Feathers drop out in domestic chickens due to the fact that the diet of birds is not balanced enough. Deviations in bird feeding become the main reason why such a problematic situation as alopecia develops, the skin rejects the feather. Here you can draw a fairly simple analogy with a person: if a vitamin or an important element in the human body is not present in sufficient quantity, this begins to affect its state of health and appearance, the skin becomes pale and dry. Chickens with a similar deficiency begin to lose their plumage on the neck, chest or tail.

Bird baldness on the neck and other parts of the body can develop in the event of a deficiency of the following elements obtained through nutrition:

  • calcium;
  • iodine;
  • phosphorus;
  • sulfur.

However, feathers drop out of a tail or other part of the body in a poultry, not only when it is not properly fed. Under the conditions of laying hens, there is yet another reason why the plumage rapidly falls out. Chickens can lose their plumage if, when kept at home, the owners provided them with insufficient lighting, did not organize ventilation well, or did not maintain the proper level of cleanliness.

Another factor affecting the appearance and development of alopecia in poultry is the presence of parasitic organisms that feed on feathers and down of chicken. Parasites settle on the skin and in the sub-feather layer.

If there are no violations in the conditions of keeping and caring for birds that can cause a problem, and the feathers continue to fall on the back, neck or pope, you should think about whether the pets receive a sufficient amount of food, maybe they have a lack of vitamins. During the seasonal change of plumage, birds feed 2 times more than the rest of the time. For this reason, with insufficient feeding, the chicken may lose those feathers that it needs.

Symptomatic picture of alopecia

The fact that the bird is prone to feathering can be recognized by several signs. As soon as they are identified, it is worth starting to determine the cause of this phenomenon and the corresponding therapeutic measures, otherwise the bird's health will weaken so much that it will become vulnerable to all possible diseases.

The presence of alopecia is evidenced not only by deprivation of feathers and fluff, but also by a decrease in the egg production of pets, a decrease in immunity, and weight loss. Cases of chicken cannibalism due to the development of this problem are also known.

With alopecia, the desired cover mainly falls on the neck, back, root of the tail, on the stomach and chest. Launched cases can lead to complete baldness of the feathered. An initial examination of a sick animal also shows that in the affected areas of the code has become inflamed, sometimes bruising can even occur.

What are the ways to solve the problem?

In order to cure your pets, it is important to understand as clearly as possible why feathers fall on the priest or neck of both the chicken and the rooster. Each specific case of the development of alopecia requires the adoption of individual measures, so the owner needs to clearly know what to do when the plumage falls on the back, neck or tail, depending on the cause.

What to do with malnutrition

As mentioned earlier, the causes of plumage loss begin with an unhealthy diet. An auxiliary symptom in this case is that the feathers are not shiny enough. Egg laying may also decrease. In this case, the problem can be treated as follows:

  1. Add more minerals and vitamins to the feed. You can do this by buying special additives in the store.
  2. In addition to vitamins, add sulfur to the feed in an amount of 0.3 g for each meal. Instead of sulfur, the use of glauber's salt is possible.
  3. The use of iodine or potassium permanganate solutions will help restore the balance of minerals. To prevent the loss of plumage such solutions are watered in the morning 1 time in 2 days.

What will help stop the loss when improperly maintained

If the reason for the development of feather loss lies in the conditions in which the birds are kept, it is quite simple to rectify the situation: all contaminants should be removed in the poultry premises and then disinfected. Also correcting the problem will help checking and normalizing the ventilation system and airing the rooms.

In order not to carry out regular disinfection using chemicals, it is possible to provide for the natural destruction of infections with the help of sunlight.

To do this, it is enough to make a window of a sufficiently large size in the building where the hens are located. A large window will allow sunlight to freely enter the building for natural disinfection.

Also, to solve the problem, it is important to provide your pets with the opportunity to walk in open space for at least 1 hour per day. Regular walks can strengthen the immune system, stretch the feathered muscular system.

What to do with parasites

If the feathers periodically drop out from the rooster, and the conditions and diet are normal, it is worth considering whether the pets have parasites. In the presence of organisms that lead a parasitic lifestyle, hygiene comes to the fore in those rooms where birds are kept. It is important to regularly and timely air the chicken coops, as well as conduct regular disinfection in them.

The use of ash will help protect their feathered pets from falling feathers on the neck and other parts of the body.

You don’t need to do anything complicated for this: just put a container filled with ash. Birds will bathe in it, peeling their feathers. Using this simple method can help prevent the development of lupus and other organisms that are used to parasitizing.

What else can help

It is important not only to stop the loss of plumage on the neck and other parts of the body of the chicken, but also to restore the lost cover. It is also necessary to return the fallen indicators. To do this, you can buy lamps that emit ultraviolet light, with sufficient financial ability. This will increase the level of egg laying in the winter, as well as make up for the missing amount of vitamin D.

The use of the following foods also helps in the restoration of the state of health in alopecia:

  • legumes;
  • bone flour;
  • cabbage;
  • roots;
  • cake;
  • oats.

Also, stabilization of adult chickens and chickens with feathers will contribute to a decrease in the amount of fatty foods in the diet. Sometimes a breach in the bird's feeding system can cause molting.

To understand what exactly becomes the cause of molting, you need to monitor the pets, observing whether changing the diet helps. If changing the diet does not help, you need to look for a specialist veterinarian.


Alopecia is a serious enough problem. It leads to the fact that birds not only lose their feathers on the neck and in other places, they turn into a state of general weakness and vulnerability to diseases due to weakened immunity.

Before doing anything to stop this process, it is important to distinguish alopecia from regular seasonal molting. Distinctive features are as follows:

  • the feathers lose their luster, and the fallen plumage is discolored;
  • with alopecia, not only feathers can fall out, but also fluff;
  • the skin in the affected areas turns red, bruising may occur;
  • egg laying is reduced, immunity is weakened.

So, if the pets are balding, and the skin on the place where the feathers fell out, turns red - it's time to run as much as you can to the veterinarian for advice, although there are many folk remedies that will help eliminate the existing problem and stabilize the state of the feathered pets. However, before using them, it is important to correctly determine the cause of alopecia, otherwise the measures taken will not be effective enough and will not be able to completely eliminate the problem. If all of the above methods do not help, you need to change the place of keeping birds.


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