In this article, I'm answering; will chicken feathers grow back after an attack?
If one or more of your chickens have lost some feathers due to being attacked, I'm sure you're anxious to see them back to 100%!
The good news is that more often than not, a chicken's feathers will grow back.
The bad news is that it can take several months depending on the severity of their feather loss.
Here's a look at why chickens lose their feathers, and how long you can expect it to take for them to grow back:
Will Chicken Feathers Grow Back After Attack?
When a chicken loses feathers due to being attacked, it's always likely that those feathers will grow back.
It's important to first check that your chicken hasn't sustained any injuries. If they have, then you need to know exactly how serious their injuries are.
Keep in mind that chickens are good at hiding when they're injured. If you've spotted feather loss, take a good look for any cuts, wounds, etc.
If your chicken is injured, you'll need to take care of their wounds first and give them time to rest.
Once your chicken has recovered from their injuries, their feathers should start growing back unless their skin has been seriously damaged.
They are going to need a protein-rich diet and some extra care and attention, but don't worry, their beautiful plumage should return to normal.
Related - More on how to help a chicken's feathers grow back!
How Long Does It Take for Chicken Feathers to Grow Back After Injury?
The time it takes for chicken feathers to grow back after an injury can range from a few weeks to several months.
It all depends on the severity of their injuries and how well they recover.
Also, keep in mind that the more feathers your chicken has lost, the longer it's going to take for them to grow back.
The important thing is to provide everything your chicken needs to recover and keep an eye on them and make sure that their feathers are slowly growing back.
I can't tell you exactly how long it's going to take, but don't be surprised if it takes months!
Why Do Chickens Lose Their Feathers When Attacked?
There are a couple of reasons why chickens lose their feathers when attacked.
One reason is that the attacker pulls out their feathers during a scuffle, or the chicken's skin gets injured, which will cause their feathers to fall out.
The other reason is that when chickens are stressed - and this applies to most birds - they may shed some of their feathers as well.
Birds do this as a defensive mechanism to help escape predators.
They'll let their feathers come out in the hope that an owl, raccoon, or whatever animal is attacking them will get a mouth or claw full of feathers and not their flesh!
What Helps Chickens’ Feathers Grow Back?
There are a few things you can do to help your chicken's feathers grow back quicker.
First of all, make sure they have a good quality diet.
This means providing them with plenty of protein-rich food - such as insects, worms, and other small critters - as well as leafy greens and vegetables.
Feathers are rich in a protein called keratin, the same substance that our nails and hair are made of.
While your chicken is recovering from feather loss, it's important to make sure they're getting plenty of protein.
Otherwise, their bodies will draw protein from reserves in their bodies. This will take a toll on their health and cause their feathers to take a lot longer to regrow.
Be Aware of Molting
One thing to keep in mind is that chickens molt - which means they shed their feathers and grow new ones - every year.
Molting usually happens during the autumn months, but it can also happen at other times of the year, especially if your chicken is stressed or not getting enough food.
I remember the first time I saw my chickens molting, it took me by surprise and my first thought was that there was something seriously wrong or they'd been attacked.
So, if you notice your chicken is losing feathers, rule out molting first.
The main difference is that if chickens have been attacked, you'll probably see other signs that a predator has been around.
Molting is also a more gradual process. Chickens typically start losing feathers around their necks, then their backs, then wings.
Related - Here's more information on why chickens molt and how to care for them during a molt.
If your chickens have been attacked and lost feathers as a result, their feathers will grow back - but it may take several weeks or even months.
Provide them with a good quality diet, plenty of protein, and some extra TLC to help their feathers grow back quicker.