9 Month old hen molting in winter? WHAT!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RichtmanRanch, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. RichtmanRanch

    RichtmanRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2013
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    I have 7 hens all nine months old. About a month ago I noticed my big gal (T-Rex as we like to call her) started dropping tail feathers. Didnt think much of it. But now she is literally butt naked and just over the past 2 nights has lost a lot of neck feathers. Her but has been bare for about 2 weeks now and I dont seem to notice any pin feathers growing in. I will also disclose I found lice on one of my fully feathered buff orps. Well I have treated the girls and the coop/boxes/roosts with DE. But could some of them also be molting in addition to the lice, or are the lice making it harder to recover from the molt?

    In addition to their layer rations I have been giving them a scoop of black sunflower seeds, and a mix of cooked brown rice and scrambled eggs to help with protein. Should I change to a higher protein mix for a while? Finally how long does a typical molt take? I am surprised to see she has no new feathers grown in. I mean she has a few pin feathers that are spastic. But I see no evidence of the feathers returning.
     
  2. RichtmanRanch

    RichtmanRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2013
    Minnesota
    Also I forgot to mention. If she is molting and not losing feathers as a result of lice, I dont see any feathers under her roost. As she seems to be losing feathers at night. I have observed her. She has itched here and their but I never actually see her pull feathers out. She is on the top of the pecking order, so I dont think the others are hen pecking her. She has not bloody spots that I can see. Plus she take **** from nobody! Haha, she is a tough gal no doubt. Just trying to make sure she stays comfortable in the colder winter temps. I have a heat lamp in the coop too.
     
  3. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mine had a slow partial three month molt. They were all 9 months old. They all molted. They all stopped laying eggs. They just started laying eggs again. I gave them extra boss and mealworms from my mealworm farm for extra protein. I couldn't believe it either.

    I thought 18 months, but that is not how it worked and I have since found several other stories about 9 month chickens molting.

    They kept each other warm on the roost. It worked out but I was freaked out at first as I thought they would be too cold for winter. They look gorgeous now. I did not supplement light, preferring them to have a natural process.

    Plenty of opportunity for dust-bathing helps, i think.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yeah, I have several about that age this season that molted this winter or are molting now.
     

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