Moulting and other feather loss in poultry

Feather loss or moulting in chickens and other poultry is generally a natural process of shedding and renewing feathers. Other external factors can also bring on feather loss, including environmental, social and welfare factors. These external factors may indicate problems in the management of the flock.

From a financial point of view, deterioration in the animals’ plumage often leads to increased food consumption, resulting in less efficient egg production. A substantial improvement in plumage condition brings economic value to the farmer.

This guide explains the causes of moulting and feather loss in poultry and ways to identify the causes. It also outlines ways to prevent and treat feather loss, and the effects feather loss has on egg production.