2 Yr Old Hen Has Never Molted...

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,648
11,816
712
Nevada County, CA
...and it's really bothering me. Poppy, a BO, has never molted. All of her flockmates who are the same age have molted at least once, some twice. Poppy has lost head feathers to my cockerel's attentions, but beyond that, her feathers are completely worn out and frayed looking. No bald spots. Just feathers whose barbs lost their zip.

I've checked for parasites. She gets fermented organic feed and, sparingly, treats of BOSS, mealworms, and dried shrimp. She gets out into the yard to eat grass every day for about 4 hours. She lays regularly. No other problems I can see.

I KNOW she hasn't molted because there is one feather on her tail that my husband and I noticed in spring of 2019 because it is completely frayed. It's STILL THERE. It used to stick up and stand out because she had only one like it. Now they are all like it. The feathers on her back are all clumped together like fur - no resiliency or shape or rigidity.

She got wet a few weeks ago when a thunderstorm went through our area. All her sisters fared well. She was wet to the skin! No water resistance at all. My Silkies' feathers did more to keep the water away...

I don't think it's a case of slow molting. I think there's a problem. Any ideas about why she won't molt? Any ideas of what I can/should do???

Here's Poppy in early March 2019:
20190711_202725.jpg


Here she is last week:
20200515_200104.jpg
 
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NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
6,014
11,464
596
USA
That's really odd. I don't know what to do, but I'll be curious to see if anyone else is familiar with something like this.
 

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