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I have two chickens now necessarily confined to their run. The run is an Omlet walk-in 3m x 3m with covers so nice and dry. They have a Go-Up inside the run and three perches at different heights. Because they can no longer go outside, I hang a cabbage and they also have a sparkly CD hanging up too, for entertainment.

If feed them Smallholders pellets. They also get Nettex Mineral boost twice a week and other extras such as Poultry Porridge and (from Clare Taylor) Gut Conditioning Pellets and Sooper Seeds.

This morning I noticed that one of them has lost feathers on both legs. There is no blood and I haven't noticed the other one pecking her. Both chickens will be a year old in March and both are laying everyday.

Do you think that one is pecking the other out of boredom? Or is is an oddly timed moult (starting in an odd place)? Any other ideas?

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It's always a possibility that she's plucking her own feathers out of boredom. The other possibility is mice getting into the coop and taking the feathers for nests. Ours are terrified of CD's, so I'd get rid of that. It won't be a moult I think, because a moult starts (and finishes) with a pair of wing feathers and the neck feathers? These are difficult times because chickens will readily take to more space, like free ranging, but they will suffer psychologically from having their space reduced and that's a well known problem. Given that this confinement will be a regular occurrence you need to plan for an enclosure to suit and never let them out of it. But I think they have enough space with 9 m2 for two.

The perches at different heights are a good idea. What they also need are feeds at different heights, so ground, mid-way and something to jump at. Hope you resolve this. Sorry I'm just throwing random thoughts in because there is no immediate answer comes to mind.

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Hi Beantree

Thanks for that quick response. I think you could be right about self-plucking through boredom but mice is an interesting point ... I will hunt around for evidence. I take the food out of the run and store in a metal container each evening but we do have mice around (as evidenced by the ones my cat brings in). Yes, I thought it would be an odd moult that started with thighs! I have some Omlet fencing and could see if I can find some mesh netting to go over ... so they could get out onto some grass maybe? I'll try that tomorrow. And will get creative with the feed. And I'll take the CDs out 🤣

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