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Are they molting or not?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gagirl02, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. gagirl02

    gagirl02 In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2016
    I have 2016 Easter chicks that have grown up to be a Rhode Island Red hen, and two roosters (not RIRs) My hen has only been laying eggs for 19 days and has now stopped - been 3 days without an egg :( I see a few feathers here and there from my roosters (they are white) but nothing that shows bare skin. I see nothing from my RIR. Is she molting? We live in the south so it's still warm days. They get layer feed and scraps from the kitchen. I want fresh eggs!!!!!

  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Welcome to BYC.
    They should be too young to be going through an adult molt yet. Most likely the rooster feathers you see are just the few that they just lose from time to time. When most breeds of chickens are laying they will often take breaks of a day or so. Pullets are especially prone to taking longer breaks at first.
  3. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Songster

    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    X2 - your hen is still young and just starting to lay. She'll get it worked out and be a good layer once she matures a little bit. My RIR's are my best layers, aside from my white leghorn hen.

    None of mine ever molted before they were more than a year old. When they molt, there are feathers everywhere, so you'll know it when you see it!
  4. gagirl02

    gagirl02 In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2016
    [​IMG]Thanks yall. I'm really worried now that something is wrong with her. She looks good, eats well, acts normal. I'll give her a couple of more days before I get more worried.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You have only 1 pullet and 2 cockerels?
    (FYI not hens and cocks/roosters until one year of age)
    She may be stressed from living with, and possibly being over mated by, 2 males.

    Do you free range?
    She may be hiding a nest out in range area.

    She may also be nutrient deficient, layer feed is usually minimal on protein(about 16%) with the scraps lowering it even more.
    The heat could be having an affect also, they drink a lot of water when it's hot, but most goes right thru them to shed the heat from their bodies,
    sometimes not leaving enough to make an egg. If they run out of water for even a few hours it can suspend egg making temporarily.
  6. gagirl02

    gagirl02 In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2016
    thank you Chicken juggler for the terminology. I look at them and see a hen and two roosters because she is laying eggs and they are crowing. So I'll try to do better in calling them their proper names. The pullet had been laying her eggs in the pen in a certain place on the ground. (I have a nest with fake eggs the color of hers but one of the cockerels gets in it and rests). When I would take her eggs she really seemed upset. She would start "talking" to me aggressively. I was actually attacked by one of the cockerels. She and one of the cockerels have been getting out of the pen the last couple of days. (They fly over the fence). I happened to watch her this morning. She very hurriedly went to a spot against the house. (She had laid an egg there that I didn't know about) Was nesting to lay her egg this morning there. I left her for about 30 mins. Went back outside and she was trying to get back into the pen. I let her and the one cockerel that escaped with her back in. Checked the nesting spot and found two eggs. So, now I will have to watch her to see where she is going to lay her eggs.
    To explain why I have two cockerels and one hen - my brother bought 6 chicks at Easter from his local Tractor Supply store. When they got old enough to tell what they were, he had 5 cockerels and 1 pullet. 5 cockerels in a subdivision wasn't working out when they started crowing. So, since I live rural and was wanting a laying hen anyway, I took the chicks from him. One of the cockerels for some reason didn't like me and started attacking me, drawing blood and pecking me leaving marks on my skin. Of the 5 cockerels, there were two big black ones, a brownish red one (the one that attacked me) and two smaller white ones. I gave the two black ones away along with the attacker. Too many roosters to be. I kept the two white ones because one of the white ones has feathers all the way down his legs and spread out on the ground, and the other one is a Delaware (I looked this up and found what type he was). I liked both of them so kept them. I know I don't even need a cockerel/rooster at all and really only need one but I don't want to get rid of either of them. I'm actually looking for two more hens/pullets but I can't find anyone in my area that is wanting to sell any. I have posted a Wanted Ad and subscribed to a farm magazine to try to purchase two layers. No luck so far.

    The chickens get put up in a covered fenced area at night. During the day we have a quarter acre fenced area that they have free range. They get water and feed at their discretion. The feed and water containers are always with plenty. I love the little things but the two cockerels do not like me. The Delaware has never attacked me (he does do this little shuffle dance) but the other white one has attacked me several times.

    Thanks everyone for all the knowledge that you have shared with me. I'm glad she's still laying those delicious eggs. I thank her every time I get one. Her name by the way is Henny Penny.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
  7. gagirl02

    gagirl02 In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2016
    If the layer feed isn't enough what else should she be getting?

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