Do roosters lose their feathers? It’s a common question beginner poultry keepers ask. Here in this guide we are describing more about this.
It’s very enjoyable and pleasuring to watch the activities of a rooster with colorful feathers. A few roosters and hens moving here and there around your yard make a striking sight.
Roosters have colorful feathers which give them a fantastic view. But sometimes you may notice a few feathers decumbent around your yard.
You may think, who are losing feathers? Your laying hens or roosters in your flock? Do roosters lose their feathers? Actually both of your hens and roosters lose a few feathers now and then. Don’t worry much about it.
Do Roosters Lose Their Feathers?
Losing feathers is natural for your roosters under normal circumstances. But you have to become conscious if they loss excessive feathers. Excessive feather losing is not natural and it may happen due to various reasons.
We are describing about few of those possible reasons why your roosters losing excessive feathers.
Naturally roosters become more aggressive than the hens. There are many breeds of roosters available which become aggressive by gene. Roosters usually want to dominate a flock. And he will fight with other roosters if there are more than one rooster in your flock.
This is one of the major reasons of feather losing. Roosters lose their feathers during fighting with each other.
They will jump on one another’s backs while pulling out neck feathers with their beaks, and tugging away back feathers with their feet and toenails. Sometimes they also peck at each other. Roosters even fight with each other if they don’t have sufficient numbers of hens.
Diseases & Parasites
Feather losing can also causes due to various types of diseases and parasites. Mites, lice and fleas are the common parasites that can cause feather losing. If you notice the presence of lice at the base of the feathers, then they are the culprits who are causing feather losing.
Mites and fleas also cause feather losing. But it’s really harder to track down, because usually they don’t stay on the body of roosters. You can only notice them during dine period or at night. Sometimes you may see some signs such as sores and scratches on the skin of a rooster in addition to feather losing.
Your roosters can also lose their feathers due to fowl pox. Fowl pox is obvious from the pimple like sores that you’ll see on the rooster’s skin. It will be more visible when the roosters lose their feathers.
Molting is natural for all types of birds. Almost every birds molt after a certain period of time and roosters are no exception. Your roosters will shed old ones and grow new feathers when they are in a molting phase. Molting typically happens only once a year in chickens, especially for roosters.
This usually happens in the fall to prepare the birds with new feathers for preventing themselves from cold weather ahead. Generally roosters lose feathers gradually. They lose only a few feathers at a time. But some roosters might lose all their feathers at once. Usually first molting happens to the roosters after their one year of age.
First molting is also a clear signal that your roosters will be fully ready for mating with girls by the following season. After molting, new feathers don’t grow quickly. It usually takes a lot out of a rooster to grow a set of new feathers after losing the old ones. During molting, check the skins of your roosters if there are any signs of illness or weakness.
Watch the roosters closely and determine which are the strongest, vigorous and perfect for your flock. During molting, provide them adequate nutritious feed and serve sufficient amount of clean and fresh water according to their demand.
Another causes of feather losing of your roosters is providing them poor nutritional food and lack of necessary additives in their regular food. And even if you make any changes in their regular diet. Among the necessary nutrients, protein is very important for the production of feathers and maintaining good quality feathers.
For keeping your roosters healthy, about 12 grams of protein is required daily for each bird. So check the amount of protein in their food, if you notice any feather losing. Add more protein supplements in their food if it contain less protein and switch back if it contain excessive amount. And provide them clean and fresh water regularly according to their demand.
Naturally roosters lose a few feathers now and then. Take necessary steps if you notice any disruptions of this natural genre. And always ensure good environment for your birds. Have fun!