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1 hen molting, not even a year old yet

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cgoodloe, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. cgoodloe

    cgoodloe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have one hen who has lost most of her back neck feathers. It's getting cold outside especially at night. It's November in central California so not as cold as other areas but still pretty chilly. Is this normal for new hens who aren't even a year old yet to molt in fall/winter? They will be 1 in February...well 1 human years. I'm not sure why only one hen is doing it and how to care for her in the falling temps. I'm not equipped with any special walls or spaces other than their coop house. I'm not sure what to do. It does look like feathers are already coming in where the others fell out so maybe I'm just overly worried. I've read that you may have to feed her differently than the layers but I'd have to separate her to give different feed since the other 5 aren't molting.

    Any advice?

    Carla
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  2. CheerioLounge

    CheerioLounge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    are you sure that she isn't being pecked at by the others? Chickens will determine a pecking order and if she is at the bottom she may be getting pecked at. Chickens don't usually molt in their first year.
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    They can go through a molt early. I have one that hatched in January and another that hatched in March that are both molting right now. (The one from March hasn't even laid an egg yet) I've had a few 9 month old pullets in the past also go through molts.
     
  4. cgoodloe

    cgoodloe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think she's being pecked out. All the girls are pretty non-abrasive to each other. They quit jumping at each other during juvenile stage. They all were raised together. It definitely looks like a molt because of the tiny new feather cuticle things I'm seeing. It's like little spears sticking out of her neck but they are loose. Kind of like when they were getting their first feathers earlier this year. I'm also getting fewer eggs for the past month. My concern is if I need to do anything special for her with the cold weather coming in and any special feed? Do I need to separate her? She's still eating layer feed because that's all I have.
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    No, you do not need to separate her. She'll do fine in the cold. You can increase her protein by feeding meat scraps, mealworms, cheese, cooked eggs, tuna, small amounts of cat food, etc.

    Feathers are mostly protein, so they need more of it to grow the feathers back in.
     
  6. cgoodloe

    cgoodloe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok! Sounds good! I'll get some mealworms. I'm sure all the girls will thank me for that! haha They are so spoiled.
     
  7. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    I've had a couple early molters. Last year my Blue Andalusian molted at 9 months old
     

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