Hello people, I wondered if anyone had any experience with their babies feathering out with large areas of naked skin? (under the wings and along the sides and rump of the bird aswell as along either side of the face)
Hiya, thank you for the reply. Im certain that the chicks havnt been plucked, I have cameras in my nest boxes to keep an eye as I have had other parents pluck before, but I've been rearing these guys from three weeks, so the parents have not had access to them since then. I'll try to get some decent pictures of where they're missing feathers.
Sorry for the long wait. This is the best picture I've manages to get so far (It's been really hard to get a good focus) all of the chicks are like this to varying degrees, this is actually the most feathered out of the three, I also have one from another batch who is very similar in state
I'm not sure what's going on here. I don't think the chick is plucking itself - there are no indications of plucking, and I've never heard of chicks doing this anyway. The rest of the feathering looks normal, so there's not an obvious disease or malnutrition issue. How old is the chick? Some areas of the body feather out more slowly than others, and the feathers tend to be kind of thin under the wing anyway.
Another possibility is a genetic issue. Have you had a clutch from these parents before? If they've had normal clutches before then this probably isn't the answer. But if this is their first clutch, it's possible that the parents' gene combination is a factor.
I bought this pair from a bird show, they were sold to me as a grey female and lutino male. I actually think the male might be a clear pied (his eyes look dark to me) who's either pearled or split to pearl, out of three chicks all are grey pearls. This is the first lot I've had out of this pair, so I don't have any history to compare with for these guys. I had hoped to get some bigger, healthier chicks by introducing some grey blood into my flock, so am quite dissapointed that these guys might be a bad match genetically.
The chick in the first picture is 40 days old now, so I'd have expected it to have filled in a bit more down the sides, but I don't think there's even a sign of pin feathers coming through on any of the chicks.
I've posted a picture of the youngest chick too, so hopefully you can get an idea of the extent of the baldness.
I assume that the youngest chick is only a few days younger than the oldest, and in general they're about 6 weeks old. They should be fully feathered at this point. But the youngest chick has a lot of feathers that are completely missing.
I can see that he also has a lot of feathers that are still at the pin stage, and it looks like his tail is still pretty short. Maybe his feathering is just delayed. How is their physical size - are they as big as you'd expect a baby to be at this age, or is it possible that they're stunted? Stunted chicks don't develop as fast as normal chicks, and they feather in at a later age.
The older baby is 6 weeks today and is weighing in this morning at just under 70g with an empty crop (that's about the same as other chicks from other parents at this age, I think we tend to have smaller birds over here) so weight wise it's not anything I had been concerned about yet. The younger chick is 5 weeks old today and is weighing in at 52g, so she is small but was left over night by the parents the day before I pulled for hand feeding which I think may have contributed, I think she was moribund when I took her from the nest, but I managed to get a decent recovery out of her. However that wasn't the case with the older chick who still has the same baldness but to a lesser extent
Is it possible that too low night time temperatures while they were still in the nest could have contributed to stunting in this way? Or is it more likely to be poor parent genetics? If it is a case of stunting, is there any average of when the chicks would develop the feathers, or would it just be a case of waiting to see? I assume that if it's a genetics problem then the chicks will stay as they are now and not get her out any more than they already are