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No eggs in three weeks now molting and feeling thinner

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
My favorite Easter egger has not layed an egg in over three weeks. About that time I had to rehome my silkie rooster, he crowed constantly and we live in a neighborhood. A week later I noticed black scabs on her feet so I treated her for bumblefoot. While treating her I noticed she felt a lot thinner so I treated the whole flock for worms. I mixed three strike in with their feed. Now she is molting and has a lot of new feathers coming in. The weather has been back and forth a lot here from temps in the 40's for a week or two then in the 60's-70's for a week or two then back to the 40's. I also have two black Aussies that abruptly quit laying as well. a Sicilian buttercup that hasn't layed since a molt in early fall. This is my first winter with my flock they won't be a year old until March. So I may just be freaking out but does all this seem normal? I also have another EE and a silkie that still lays every other day. They all act fine, eat well, free range a couple times a week.
post #2 of 5

How much light a day dose your flock receive? Most hens need a minimum of 14 hours a day for egg production and with the sudden temperature fluctuations, if they start to lose a number of feathers I would suspect a late molt. Also the black specks on their legs could have been produced by scaly leg mites, and in severe parasite infections unthriftiness may result.

Lofty Dreams Poultry

New Hampshires - White Plymouth Rocks - Salmon Faverolles - More Coming Soon

 

Hello I am an avid 4-H'er,  I have had chickens ever since I was six and  presently have about 100 chickens which I adore greatly much like the rest of my birds; both past and present.  I also had pigeons and turkeys and would one day like to try to raise waterfowl and gamebirds.

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Lofty Dreams Poultry

New Hampshires - White Plymouth Rocks - Salmon Faverolles - More Coming Soon

 

Hello I am an avid 4-H'er,  I have had chickens ever since I was six and  presently have about 100 chickens which I adore greatly much like the rest of my birds; both past and present.  I also had pigeons and turkeys and would one day like to try to raise waterfowl and gamebirds.

Reply
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
The scabs of my EE were on the bottom of her feet. I put some VetRX on her legs anyways just in case. Their behavior hasn't changed at all. My buttercup layed an egg today, first since September. She was never a good layer anyway maybe 2 a week. the molting on my EE looks worse today and a cold front just moved in we are going to be below freezing tonight so I'm a little worried about her. She is the one who has gotten a little thin. Is it normal for them to lose weight in winter?. I have given them extra food and even put some kitten chow for extra protein.
post #4 of 5

Even partial molts can take a toll on a young hen. It takes a lot of energy to keep warm and grow back the feathers. Nearly all the girls in my flock did a partial molt this fall, and I've got 4 that did a full molt in the last month or two. My oldest birds are 11 months. It's been a weird year for molting.

It is normal for laying to stop during partial and full molts. Laying won't resume until all the feathers are fully grown back in, they gain back the weight they lost, and the days are long enough.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I need some reassurance that they were ok that I'm worrying for nothing. My girls are 8-10 months old and are my babies. This is their (and mine)first winter. I didn't know that they could go through a molt in the middle of it. Poor Gwen.
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