Fair Weather Feathers & Overexposure
Rain, snow and ice pose unique problems for crested birds. Rain causes feathers to hang and separate, revealing the pink skin underneath. Since chickens have such keen vision and inspect novelties with their beaks, they are drawn to investigate pin feathers, the skin and feather shafts, which frequently causes a feather-picking problem that can create a vicious cycle of baldness, head injuries, and feather regeneration, followed by more feather picking. Feathers that get wet in drinkers in freezing temperatures can form icicles, which are uncomfortable, can cause frostbite and draw unwanted attention from pecking beaks. Molting also exposes the skin on the head, drawing unwanted attention to the area.