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Is 10 months too young for molt?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have a RIR that looks to be molting. However, this normally friendly and placid girl is also acting very nervous. Her feathers are missing from around the comb, down the sides of her head and extending down the center of her neck. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 
It looks worse than in this picture.
post #3 of 5

More than likely, another chicken is pulling out her feathers. Many lower pecking order chickens will just stand their and let them do this. I have watched a few do this to their neighbor on the roost before bedtime. Look for any evidence of lice or mites on her skin and especially under the vent area. Make sure your chickens are eating at least 16-20% protein in their food, and limit low protein snacks. If they don't have enough room or are kept inside during the day, they will peck each other out of boredom. Putting a bad tasting cream such as Nustock on her skin may keep them from pecking her. When the new feathers start to grow in, they are more enticing, so I use BluKote spray to hide the bare skin.

post #4 of 5
Agreed with Eggcessive. I just want to add that it is possible albeit rare for a chicken to molt under a yr old, besides the normal juvenile molts.
Our 9 mo olds (at the time) started a mild molt in October, finished in late Dec and started laying again at the beginning of January. It looked like a feather pillow exploded in the coop & run yet no one was naked or wounded lol.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
We have not found any evidence of mites. I had suspected she was being pecked. We did get the Nustock and will try that. They have plenty of room in the coop and outside pen and paddock, so I don't think it is from boredom. Will try to up the protein levels.
Edited by Becky388 - 2/3/16 at 2:21pm
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