Another molting question...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kycklingmamma, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. kycklingmamma

    kycklingmamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a few questions and concerns with my little coop of hens.

    I have 5 hens that are now about 18-24 months, and they have been good egglayers up until two months ago or so. My two welsummers came into molt first, loosing almost all their feathers, looking like they were dying, now they look better, finally, yet eggs are sparse from them. My other 3 older hens have just now started molting and are looking horrid (part of the game I know)...how long with they molt?
    I didn't know these other hens were molting until I checked them up and down last night for mites, lice or anythimg that couild be the culprit. Upon checking them over, I say lots of new quills coming in under existing feathers, so tehy are molting right?
    My 4 younger pullets also aren't laying as good as they did, but they are 8 months..and one haven't even layed an egg yet. So I am very confused..

    When some in the coop are molting does that upset the dynamics of the whole coop..?

    Any ideas would be great..I miss my eggs..
     
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    It's just that time of year when they all go thru molting and slow way down with egg production. Older better egg layers seem to go thru molts worse than some of the others. When they are molting all their energy goes back into growing new feathers and not producing eggs. Plus it's that time of year for less daylight. Give them lots of extra protein like scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, moist cat food, canned tuna even. It will help but it takes them acouple months and should be back into production by Dec. That's how it works here at my henhouse!
     
  3. kycklingmamma

    kycklingmamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for your quick response.. I will feed them high protein, is it OK if my rooster eats it too?
    Moist cat food, like the wet kind or the dry kind moistened? Once daily or lots to free feed on?
     
  4. SallyF

    SallyF Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    This is when it's logical to buy store eggs. I watch for specials on them and then cook them to feed my molting hens. Cheaper than tuna, and you can scramble the shells too for extra calcium. I garnish with uncooked oatmeal for grain, and throw in lots of cayenne pepper. Then I eat the tuna myself. I have also given them dry cat food, since I have five cats and usually have it around. I just crumble it up a bit. And my roosters eat anything the hens do. I usually just do the scrambled egg thing once a day since mine free range for about half a day and get lots of bugs and greens that way.
     
  5. kycklingmamma

    kycklingmamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    SallyF..thanks for the great idea...why cayenne pepper?
     
  6. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Roosters go thru molts the same as hens so feeding the same thing helps them with feather growth too.
     
  7. kycklingmamma

    kycklingmamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, my rooster is a young one, he was homehatched back in march, I haven't seen him molt, at least not as severe as the older ones, but he will get his fair share of protein then..
     

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