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Alert! Your Chickens May be Molting!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by greyfields, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Ruffled Feathers
    Feather Loss
    No eggs in the nest
    Odd pattern of light and dark feathers.

    These are all signs your birds are molting. If you have not put a light in your hen house by now, the shortening days have already triggered the molting instinct in your birds.

    Some birds will continue to lay through their first winter even without light; but if you have birds going into their second winter they'll probably molt (even with added light).
     
  2. Ms. Lewis Rich

    Ms. Lewis Rich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 7 birds entered in a show and I think number 3 has just gone into a molt.
    Less than two weeks, do you have any ideas how to keep the rest following suite. I have shown dogs all my life new at chicken shows, we called it blowing coat when it was a dog show!!!!!
     
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    You can't really prevent it. You can only hope to delay it by providing them a minimum of 14 hours of 'sunlight' using a light bulb.

    You can up their protein intake also, which will speed the molt up. Most people recommend 30% protein.
     
  4. Ms. Lewis Rich

    Ms. Lewis Rich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are kept indoors with artifical sunlight , I can keep it on as long as needed you think 14 hrs, is best?
     
  5. EliteTempleton

    EliteTempleton Chillin' With My Peeps

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    14 hours is the agreed upon # to keep them laying eggs. If I was trying to prevent molt and had no issues with lighting I think I'd do 15 just be be sure.

    Keep in mind they like to lay in a dark spot so try not to light up the nesting box if you can.
     
  6. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    gosh, if you are truly showing, go for 24 hours and hope for the best

    I know for this very reason the last poultry shows in my area are in October. I wouldn't take the molting one, either, to the show. If the judge sees a molt, they simply disqualify the bird without giving it any examination (and thus feedback on the other qualities).
     
  7. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    If you up protein but the molt never seems to end, what's the next course of action? It's getting cold in my area, then hens REFUSE to stay inside at night, and I worry....
     
  8. ChickaD

    ChickaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Our younger flock is 13-week old pullets & they appear to be molting the last couple weeks (odd timing!). Considering their age, do you think they may start to lay in the winter months, even with winter coming on? We haven't decided whether or not it's best this year to supplement the light because we have older hens (4-7 yrs old) still partially laying and think they may need a rest.
     
  9. Ms. Lewis Rich

    Ms. Lewis Rich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks soo much for the input,I had handlers for my dogs! I guess this is my first time solo.
     
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    My chicken pens look like the birds have been having pillow fights! Sometimes it seems that an entire chicken has come unraveled. And don't they all look a little embarassed and sorry for themselves while they're molting? But then when the new glossy feathers fill in, they're back to beautiful again!
     

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